High Dosage of Patient-Controlled Epidural Analgesia (PCEA) with Low Background Infusion during Labor: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Yu Wei, Yilong Wang, Yanhong Zhao, Chaomin Wu, Henry Liu, Zeyong Yang

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Background: Patient-controlled epidural analgesia (PCEA) is well documented; however, it is unclear whether a high dosage of PCEA with a low dosage of background infusion during labor can be a safe and effective application. Methods: Group LH was administered a continuous infusion (CI) of 0.084 mL/kg/h with PCEA of 5 mL every 40 min. Group HL was given a CI of 0.028 mL/kg/h and PCEA of 10 mL every 40 min; Group HH was given a CI of 0.084 mL/kg/h and PCEA of 10 mL every 40 min. The primary outcomes were VAS pain score, the number of supplemental boluses, incidence of pain outbreaks, drug dose for pain outbreaks, PCA times, effective PCA times, anesthetic consumption, duration of analgesia, duration of labor and delivery outcome. Secondary outcomes included adverse reactions such as itching, nausea and vomiting during analgesia and neonatal Apgar scores 1 min and 5 min after birth. Results: A total of 180 patients, 60 in each group were randomly assigned to one of three groups included group LH, group HL or group HH. The VAS scores were obviously decreased in HL group and HH group in comparison with LL group at 2 h after analgesia and the time point of full cervical dilation and delivery of baby. The time for third stage of labor in HH group was increased compared with LH group and HL group. Incidence of pain outbreaks in LH group was obviously increased compared with HL and HH group. The effective PCA times in HL group and HH group were remarkably reduced compared with those in LH group. Conclusions: High dose of PCEA with a low background infusion can reduce effective PCA times, incidence of outbreak pain and the total amount of anesthetics without diminishing analgesia effects. However, high dose of PCEA with a high background infusion can enhance analgesia effect but increase the third stage of labor, instrumental delivery ratio and the total amount of anesthetics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number600
JournalJournal of Personalized Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

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