Experience in the use of epidural anaesthesia
Background: Epidural anaesthesia is applicable for a wide range of surgical procedures and offers distinct advantages over general and spinal anaesthesia. It is however underutilised in our environment. We report a one year experience in the use of this technique. Our objective is to describe a one year experience in the use of epidural anaesthesia with emphasis on the scope and safety in our institution. Method: A retrospective study of all patients that had epidural anaesthesia over a one year period for different procedures. Case notes and anaesthetic records were studied and analysed using EPI info 3.2.1. software. Results: Thirty two patients had epidural anaesthesia over the period. Majority (18cases) were caesarean sections (56.3%). There were 9 general surgical cases (28.1%), four gynaecologic (12.0%) and one orthopaedic (3.1%) cases. Of the five complications observed (15.6%), only two could be traced to the technique of anaesthesia and the lone mortality (3.1%) was unconnected. Conclusion: We conclude that epidural anaesthesia is applicable to a wide range of procedures within and across disciplines in our practice and is both easy to performand safe.
Key words: epidural anaesthesia, scope, safety, our practice.