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Largest ever prospective medical study shows epidurals and spinal anaesthetics are safer than previously reported

12 January 2009

The largest ever prospective study into the major complications of epidurals and spinal anaesthetics published in the British Journal of Anaesthesia concludes that previous studies have over-estimated the risks of severe complications of these procedures. The study concludes that the estimated risk of permanent harm following a spinal anaesthetic or epidural is lower than 1 in 20,000 and in many circumstances the estimated risk is considerably lower.

From the paper: 3rd National Audit Project of the Royal College of Anaesthetists: Major complications of Central Neuraxial block T. M. Cook, D. Counsell and J. A. W. Wildsmith on behalf of The Royal College of
Anaesthetists Third National Audit Project

Published in British Journal of Anaesthesia, Advanced Access, January 12th 2009

Read the press release online