DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Epidural anaesthesia. Close-up of an anaesthetist placing an epidural needle into a patient's spine. The syringe (containing saline) is used to apply pressure as the needle is inserted. A drop in pressure tells the anaesthesiologist that the epidural space has been reached. A catheter is then inserted into the epidural space to allow for further injections of anaesthetic, and the needle is removed. An epidural anaesthetic is injected into the extradural space outside the dura mater (spinal cord membrane). It will cause a loss of sensation and loss of pain in the lower half of the body, allowing surgery to be performed.
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