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Papers of the Week

2020 Jul-Dec

Anaesth Rep



The erector spinae plane block for obstetric analgesia: a case series of a novel technique.


Vilchis Rentería JS, Peng PWH, Forero M
Anaesth Rep. 2020 Jul-Dec; 8(2):e12083.
PMID: 33215161.


The management of pain during labour is central to obstetric anaesthetic practice. While epidural analgesia has long been considered the gold standard for intrapartum analgesia, neuraxial techniques can be challenging to perform, are contra-indicated in circumstances such as coagulopathy. The erector spinae plane block is an interfascial plane block that has generated interest because of a needle tip position away from the neuraxis. This has the potential to mitigate the risks of nerve injury and epidural haematoma formation. The mechanism of action is linked to both paravertebral and epidural distribution of local anaesthetic, providing both somatic and visceral analgesia, with potential utility in obstetric settings. Four women in active labour received either unilateral or bilateral erector spinae plane blocks. All experienced a reduction in pain, ranging from 3 to 6 points measured on a 10-point numerical rating scale. The duration of analgesia ranged from 60 to 120 min. In this report, we discuss potential for using the erector spinae plane block in the management of obstetric pain.