Effect of epidural anaesthesia on clinician-applied force during vaginal delivery

Sarah H. Poggi, Robert H. Allen, Chirag Patel, Shad H. Deering, John C. Pezzullo, Young Shin, Catherine Y. Spong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Epidural anesthesia (EA) is used in 80% of vaginal deliveries and is linked to neonatal and maternal trauma. Our objectives were to determine (1) whether EA affected clinician-applied force on the fetus and (2) whether this force influenced perineal trauma. After informed consent, multiparas with term, cephalic, singletons were delivered by 1 physician wearing a sensor-equipped glove to record force exerted on the fetal head. Those with EA were compared with those without for delivery force parameters. Regression analysis was used to identify predictors of vaginal laceration. The force required for delivery was greater in patients with EA (n = 27) than without (n = 5) (P <. 01). Clinical parameters, including birth weight (P =. 31) were similar between the groups. Clinician force was similar in those with no versus first- versus second-degree laceration (P =. 5). Only birth weight was predictive of laceration (P =. 02). Epidural use resulted in greater clinician force required for vaginal delivery of the fetus in multiparas, but this force was not associated with perineal trauma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)903-906
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Epidural
  • Force
  • Perineal trauma
  • Vaginal delivery
  • Vaginal laceration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of epidural anaesthesia on clinician-applied force during vaginal delivery'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this