Research Article

Fluid loading to reduce abnormalities of fetal heart rate and maternal hypotension during epidural analgesia in labour.

Br Med J 1978; 2 doi: (Published 25 November 1978) Cite this as: Br Med J 1978;2:1460
  1. K M Collins,
  2. D R Bevan,
  3. R W Beard


    Fetal heart rate (FHR) was recorded and maternal blood pressure measured in 104 patients in whom lumbar epidural analgesia was induced in labour. Fifty-one patients received an intravenous load of 11 of Hartmann's solution immediately before the epidural injection. This infusion significantly reduced the incidence of abnormalities of FHR from 34% to 12% and of maternal hypotension from 28% to 2%. We did not study mothers with pre-eclampsia and hypertension, but we conclude that there is a strong case for preloading all other mothers in whom lumbar epidural analgesia is induced in labour.