Improving Labour Induction Analgesia

Improving Labour Induction Analgesia: Epidural Fentanyl Bolus at Epidural Initiation for Induction of Labour

Labour pain can be intensified for labour inductions and women undergoing inductions often have earlier and more frequent requests for analgesia. Current evidence suggests that epidural analgesia effectively manages pain in labour, but may give rise to adverse effects for both the mother and neonate. Opioids are often added to epidurals to improve the quality of analgesia. Despite reassuring findings regarding epidural opioids, other investigators have found an association between epidural opioids and neonatal respiratory distress, lower Neurological and Adaptive Capacity scores, and reduced rates of breastfeeding. Given the heightened implications for the mother and neonate in situations requiring induction of labour, the desire for a positive outcome whilst still providing adequate maternal analgesia is paramount. This study thus aims to investigate whether a preliminary epidural Fentanyl bolus at the initiation of the epidural may help to improve analgesia for women undergoing labour inductions for post-term pregnancy in a safe manner. Importantly, the main rationale of this proposed practice being that by achieving adequate epidural analgesia earlier in the labour induction, this may lead to better pain control overall and less overall requirements for epidural PCEA boluses and epidural "top-ups" as the induction progresses.

Pharmaceutical medication involved
Patients and healthy individuals accepted

Drug - Epidural Fentanyl Bolus

Fentanyl bolus refers to the provision of a 2 ml bolus of epidural Fentanyl (50 mcg/ml; therefore a total dose of 100 mcg) after epidural placement, followed by a standard care infusion of epidural local anesthetic/opioids, with a PCEA pump for subsequent analgesia (0.08% Bupivicaine with 2 mcg/ml Fentanyl Solution).

Drug - Standard Epidural Group

The Control group will receive a 2 ml bolus of standard epidural mix solution (0.08% Bupivicaine with 2 mcg/ml Fentanyl) after epidural placement followed by standard care infusion of the same solution, with a PCEA pump for subsequent analgesia.

Improving Labour Induction Analgesia: a Randomized Control Trial of Single Epidural Fentanyl Bolus at Epidural Initiation for Induction of Labour