Research Article

Obstetric epidural analgesia and postural hypotension.

Br Med J 1980; 281 doi: (Published 05 July 1980) Cite this as: Br Med J 1980;281:22
  1. E Moss,
  2. R MacDonald


    Supine and erect arterial pressures were measured daily for six to seven days after delivery in 100 patients, of whom 50 had received epidural analgesia. There was no difference in the magnitude of postural hypotension between the epidural and control groups on any day after delivery, although in both groups the hypotension was greater during the first two days due almost entirely to changes in systolic arterial pressure. The incidence of dizziness on standing was similar in both groups (9%). Thus postural hypotension is no more common in women who have received epidural analgesia than in others. All patients should be helped out of bed after delivery, and any patient who experiences dizziness should have her blood pressure measured until the dizziness disappears.