Local Anesthetic Reduces Need for Painkillers After C-Section

by Rajashri on  July 9, 2009 at 7:33 PM Drug News
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 Local Anesthetic Reduces Need for Painkillers After C-Section
Cochrane Researchers have said that giving a local anaesthetic during a Caesarean section helps manage pain after the operation and can reduce consumption of painkillers.

The researchers recommend local anaesthetics as part of integrated pain management strategies for Caesarean section operations, provided that consideration is given to the cost.

"This review is particularly important in light of the growing number of women giving birth by Caesarean section," says lead researcher, Anthony Bamigboye, of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. "Improved pain relief allows mothers to bond with their babies and begin breastfeeding more quickly."

Caesarean sections account for around a quarter of all births in the US, Canada and the UK. Local anaesthetics can be given, in addition to general or regional anaesthetics, to help manage pain during and after operations. The anaesthetic is either injected to block nerves in the abdominal wall or applied directly to the wound as an anaesthetic solution.

The researchers reviewed data from 20 studies that together involved 1,150 women who gave birth by Caesarean section in both developing and developed countries. They found that women treated with local anaesthetic as well as local or regional anaesthesia did not require as much morphine or other opioid drugs for pain relief after their operations. When non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs were also given, pain was reduced further.

One concern, however, is the additional cost of giving local anaesthetic. "None of the trials in this review addressed the cost implications of increasing use of local anaesthetic," says Bamigboye. "A cost benefit analysis is needed to find out whether increased expenditure on theatre time and local anaesthetic can be offset by reductions in postoperative painkillers."

Source: Eurekalert

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All though it is commendable that this new procedure reduces pain which allows better and quicker bonding. A consideration worthy of attention and vital to the extended health of mother and baby. However it is no better than throwing (expensive) life jackets at people screaming in the river rather than fixing the whole in the bridge. The C-section rate has elevated yearly and is out of sight now at 33% in the USA, 40% S.Korea, 80% Sao Paolo Brazil, 57% Los Angeles USA and 65% Thailand Hospitals; catering to the wealthy. We must stop this practice and start educating both doctors and gravid women as to the perils of this practice. The first step is stop treating pregnancy as a sickness rather than the amazing miracle of nature that it is. We need to have every policy maker inform themselves of the tax paid research telling us morbididy drops with home birth and long term health and development of mother and baby are considerably enhanced versus compromised when we use high levels of intervention to avoid the iatrogenic pain, morbidity and mortality along with consequential noscomial complications and infections. Our dependance and drugs and many debilitating behaviours are a result of our meddling in maternity. It breaks the vital bond of the maternal dyad and the unrequited love lost manifests as compromised health and psyche; often turning up as our sad and terrifying headlines.
As Barak Obama said: "We must ask not just 'Is it profitable?' but 'Is it right?"

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