BSIP, ALEXANDRE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BSIP, ALEXANDRE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Epidural anaesthetic. Surgeon injecting an epidural anaesthetic into the lower back of a patient, prior to surgery. The anaesthetic is injected into the epidural space. This lies between the dura mater, the outermost of the three membranes that cover the spine, and the vertebral canal. The anaesthetic numbs the nerves that supply the lower half of the body, allowing the patient to remain conscious during surgery. It is most commonly used during childbirth, particularly for a Caesarean section. During a Caesarean, the baby is delivered through an incision made in the woman's abdomen and uterus.
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