Epidural anaesthesia. Doctor administering an epidural anaesthetic using a syringe. The anaesthetic is injected into the epidural space, which is found around the membranes surrounding the spinal cord. This numbs the chest and the lower half of the body. Typically a catheter is introduced into this space to allow further doses of painkiller to be given. Epidural anaesthesia is used to relieve pain during and after surgery and in people suffering from cancer. It is also widely given to relieve the pain of childbirth. Rubber gloves help to maintain a sterile environment.
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