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Can some kind person please explain to me what the difference is between an epidural and a spinal block?

(3 Posts)
SugarPig Fri 10-Oct-08 12:26:17

Title says it all really!

BetsyBoop Fri 10-Oct-08 13:43:58

with an epidural a small tube is placed in your back, by which drugs are delivered & can be topped up as necessary (and the block made "denser" if for example you were in labour & needed a c/s)

with a spinal, it's a one-shot dose, usually giving a quicker & denser block than an epidural, which is why they are used for elective c/s & em c/s if there is time & no epidural in place.

The effect is similar, just a different delivery method, the main difference is epi's are top-up-able whereas spinals aren't

hope that helps

if you want the gory details see

here for spinal and here for epidural

SugarPig Fri 10-Oct-08 14:15:15

Thanks - really helpful.

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