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Awareness, knowledge and attitude about labour analgesia- a survey from providers and parturient

Rani Ponnusamy, Hemanth Kumar Vadlamudi Reddy, Ravishankar Murugesan.


Background: Painless labour is still a dream to most of parturients inspite of experiencing severe pain. This is due to lack of awareness, associated myths and controversies involved with labour analgesia.
Methods: Questionnaire based on concerns and hindrance factors in practice of labour analgesia was distributed to anesthesiologists and obstetricians working in Puducherry, India and the responses were collected. A different set of questionnaire regarding awareness was distributed to antenatal mothers attending the antenatal clinic and their responses were collected.
Results: 60% providers had awareness of labour analgesia, but only 10% practice practiced it. Epidural analgesia was the first choice for anesthesiologists and parental drugs of which tramadol was the choice for obstetrician. Obstetrician felt the non-availability of anesthesiologist as the major hindrance factor while prolongation of period of labour was hindrance for anesthesiologists. 40% parturients were aware about severity of pain and 79% wished for painless labour. However 49% fear regarding ill effects to baby, 82% regarding backache and 52% on extra expense for the epidural kit.
Conclusion: Anesthesiologists and obstetricians are willing to provide labour analgesia provided parturients demand for it. Parturients wishes for painless labour but fear of backache and effect on baby and absence of antenatal counselling session prevent them from request for labour analgesia.

Key words: labour analgesia, parturient, epidural

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