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Obstetric anaesthesia: what a neurologist needs to know
  1. Mary Angela O’Neal
  1. Department of Neurology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Roslindale, MA 02115, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Mary Angela O’Neal, Department of Neurology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA; maoneal{at}


Neurologists are often consulted to see women postpartum who are having difficulties involving the lower extremities; weakness, numbness and pain. Many of these women have received labour analgesia. Often, there is limited understanding by the neurologist of how these procedures are performed, why a neuraxial technique is chosen and their potential complications. This case-based review will explain the differences in the neuraxial procedures: epidural, spinal and combined spinal epidural; their advantages and disadvantages, why one technique might be chosen over another, contraindications as well as procedural risks.

  • neuraxial anesthesia
  • obstetrics
  • complications

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed by Niel Anderson, Auckland, New Zealand, and Rachel Collis, Cardiff, UK

  • Data sharing statement You can share any data from this paper.

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