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American Society for Action on Pain

UI - 000121

AU - Pendergrass JS

TI - Epidural analgesia: a viable option for pain control

AB - Epidural analgesia is an important intervention for both acute and chronic pain management. It has

been in use since the early 1900s, but the technique using local application of opiate analgesics has only been

in use since the late 1970s (Moulin & Coyle, 1986). Today, many patients receive epidural analgesia for

postoperative pain control, and its use for acute or chronic pain management in a hospital, pain clinic, or

home setting also continues to increase. Epidural analgesia is also being utilized to manage acute pain in the

pediatric client. Epidural analgesia requires meticulous techniques, beginning with placement of the epidural

catheter and continuing with administration of medications and nursing management of the catheter. Nursing

assessment and development of protocols along with preoperative and postoperative patient and family

teaching are vital components of the total plan of care. The nurse practitioner (NP) or other health care

provider must be cognizant of safety considerations, whether in the hospital environment, pain clinic, or

home setting.

SO - Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners 1991;3:25-2