Epidural accessories pack, England, 1978
Manufacturing company Everett made this sterile disposable pack. It contains equipment needed to inject local anaesthetic into the ‘epidural space’ (around the spinal cord) through a very fine catheter. This is a common pain relief used during labour. It is also sometimes used in cases of severe spinal injury. The technique is often referred to as epidural blocks. It was developed in the 1960s and is now widely available. The catheter is left in place once inserted so further local anaesthetic can be given if necessary. It greatly reduces the physical sensation of labour without affecting the mental state of the mother. The first recorded epidurals for childbirth actually date from 1885. They used cocaine as an anaesthetic.
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An agent that causes insensitivity to pain. Applied to either the whole body (general anaesthetic) or a particular area or region (local anaesthetic).
A branch of medicine dealing with the care of women. This care occurs during pregnancy, childbirth, and the period of recovery from childbirth.
Glossary: epidural pack