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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 23-28

Comparison of epidural versus systemic analgesia for major surgeries in neonates and infants

Department of Anesthesia, B. J. Medical College and Civil Hospital, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. N M Solanki
44-Devshrusti Bungalows-II, B/H Kena Bungalows, Motera Stadium Road, Motera, Sabarmati, Ahmedabad - 380 005, Gujarat
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcn.JCN_66_16

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Background and Aims: Postoperative analgesia in neonate reduces acute behavioral responses to pain. It also protects the developing nervous system from persistent sensitization of pain pathway and potential damaging effects of altered neural activity on central nervous system development. We compared the effectiveness of epidural versus systemic modes of analgesia for major surgeries in neonates and infants. Materials and Methods: This randomized, single center, prospective, controlled study was conducted in sixty patients, aged 1 day to 6 months, weighing 2–5 kg belonging to the American Society of Anesthesiology physical Grade II to IV, posted for major thoracic and abdominal surgery. After general anesthesia, in Group A, the epidural catheter was inserted through standard caudal epidural technique. Initial bolus of 0.125% bupivacaine (0.75 ml/kg) and postoperatively caudal infusion of 0.0625% bupivacaine (0.1 ml/kg/h) was given. Intraoperatively Group B received fentanyl (1–2 μg/kg) and paracetamol (10 mg/kg) intravenously and postoperatively paracetamol (10 mg/kg)/intravenous (IV) six hourly or pain score > 4. Postoperative pain was assessed using face, legs, activity, cry, and consolability pain scale and sedation score was assessed by using four-point sedation score for 48 h. Results: Patients in Group A remained hemodynamically stable except occasional bradycardia below 100 which was successfully managed with anticholinergics. There was less requirement of sevoflurane in the intraoperative period and good quality of analgesia. While in Group B, multiple and regular dosage of IV paracetamol was required to maintain adequate analgesia. Conclusion: Very efficient postoperative analgesia can be achieved via caudal epidural catheter in combination with general anesthesia compared to IV paracetamol in neonates and infants.

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