Cross-legged Versus Traditional Sitting Position for the Success of Epidural Analgesia During Labor

  • STATUS
    Recruiting
  • participants needed
    400
  • sponsor
    Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris
Updated on 25 September 2021

Summary

The success of an epidural analgesia catheter placement depends on the parturient position. A poor posture can increase the number of punctures, patient discomfort, and risk of complications. An adequate position reverses lumbar lordosis, facilitating the access to the intervertebral space. In most cases, insertion of the epidural analgesia catheter is performed in sitting position or in lateral decubitus, the choice being generally guided by the preference of the anesthetist.

According to anesthetists' experience in the obstetrical anesthesia unit at Necker-Enfants Malades hospital, a cross-legged sitting position is comfortable for parturients, restricts interfering movements during the procedure, and provides adequate widening of interspinous spaces. This position results in knees and hips flexion, tilting the pelvis backward and opening the interspinous spaces, while limiting muscular strain to maintain the position. However, literature on this matter is scarce.

The aim of this study is to prove the superiority of the cross-legged position for successful placement of the epidural analgesia catheter at the first puncture without needle reorientation compared to a traditional sitting position on the edge of the bed.

Description

Labour pain is one of the most intense pain known. To relieve this pain, epidural analgesia is both the most effective and the safest technique. An epidural analgesia catheter also allows for anesthesia in the event of the need for instrumental extraction or emergency caesarean section; it is thus recommended by learned societies.

The 2016 national perinatal survey conducted by the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) and the Directorate of Research, Studies, Evaluation and Statistics (DREES) in France revealed that more than 80% of women had chosen to benefit from an epidural analgesia during labour. The first puncture failure rate ranges from 3% to almost 40% depending on the study. Identified factors for difficult epidural analgesia catheter placement were: non-palpable spinous processes, obesity, spine deformity, inability for the patient to maintain an adequate position and poor experience of the operator.

The success of an epidural analgesia catheter placement depends on the parturient position. A poor posture can increase the number of punctures, patient discomfort, and risk of complications. An adequate position reverses lumbar lordosis, facilitating the access to the intervertebral space. Different positions have been described: the lateral decubitus, the traditional sitting position, and its variants such as the squatting position, the "hamstring stretch" position, the "pendant position" (with a bilateral axillary support) and more recently the cross-legged position. In most cases, insertion of the epidural analgesia catheter is performed in sitting position or in lateral decubitus, the choice being generally guided by the preference of the anesthetist.

According to anesthetists' experience in the obstetrical anesthesia unit at Necker-Enfants Malades hospital, a cross-legged sitting position is comfortable for parturients, restricts interfering movements during the procedure, and provides adequate widening of interspinous spaces. This position results in knees and hips flexion, tilting the pelvis backward and opening the interspinous spaces, while limiting muscular strain to maintain the position. However, literature on this matter is scarce.

The aim of this study is to prove the superiority of the cross-legged position for successful placement of the epidural analgesia catheter at the first puncture without needle reorientation compared to a traditional sitting position on the edge of the bed.

Details
Condition Epidural Analgesia for Labour and Delivery
Treatment Position of labouring women for epidural analgesia catheter placement : Traditional Sitting Position (TSP), Position of labouring women for epidural analgesia catheter placement : Cross-legged Sitting Position (CSP)
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04754282
SponsorAssistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris
Last Modified on25 September 2021

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