The treatment of diseases is a complex process that involves a lot of equipment and procedures. This equipment helps surgeons to work more easily and efficiently. From giant equipment that we see in the Intensive care units (ICUs) to small syringes and needles, all medical equipment helps in the treatment of diseases and makes this treatment easier. Such a piece of medical equipment that is used to provide relief from pain, whether it is surgical or chronic, is an epidural catheter. Today we are going to discuss what is an epidural catheter kit and its uses.
What is epidural administration?
An epidural administration is a method of medication in which the medicine is injected directly into the epidural space around the spinal cord. Local anesthetics, analgesics, diagnostic medicines, and, other medicines may be given through the epidural route by the doctors or other medical staff. The purpose of giving medication through the epidural is mostly pain management. The most usage of an epidural catheter is during labor and surgery. In epidural administration, a catheter is placed into the epidural space which remains in place during the treatment. This method of giving medication was described by a Spanish military surgeon in 1921 and now it is commonly used for childbirths and surgeries.
What is an epidural catheter?
An epidural catheter is a very thin tube made of plastic that is placed through the skin into the epidural space within the spinal canal. These are used to treat surgical pain or chronic pain. It works by providing access to the epidural space and injecting medications such as local anesthetics or narcotics used for pain relief. With the help of an epidural catheter, patients can get relief from the pain instantly. An epidural catheter kit is used for this purpose.
What does an epidural catheter kit consist of?
An epidural catheter kit consists of all the necessary equipment that is required for easy catheter placement. The purpose of using an epidural catheter kit is to provide continuous medical in the epidural space for a long period. With the help of these medications, relief can be provided to patients from surgical or chronic pains instantly. For the process of placing an epidural catheter first of all the site is cleaned and then a sterile drape is placed on the site. After this, the patient is injected with local anesthesia on the back at the site where the epidural needle will be inserted. Following is the complete detail of the equipment present in the epidural catheter kit.
Epidural needle (Tuohy needle)
The epidural needle is needed for accurate insertion. It has markings on it to observe the space between the skin and epidural space. It helps in deciding how many catheters should be introduced inside the patient. The tip of the needle is curved. This helps to give direction to the catheter. These needles are used for labor anesthesia or acute pain management for instance fracture pain. This needle is advanced into the skin of the patient until the feel of the ligaments is obtained. It is also used for patients having chronic pains.
The epidural catheter is used to feed through an epidural needle. After placing the catheter, the epidural needle is withdrawn holding the catheter in place.
The epidural connector is attached to the catheter and a filter is attached to it. After this, a test dose of the local anesthetic is given.
The catheter guide clearly explains how to use that catheter accurately. It is used to clearly explain the procedure of the placement of a catheter.
After reaching the ligaments with the help of an epidural needle, the stylet of the needle is removed and a syringe is placed at the end of the epidural needle. A loss-of-resistance syringe is used with an epidural needle. This syringe and epidural needle help to identify the epidural space through the loss of resistance technique. This procedure helps to find the epidural space.
Hydrophobic Epidural filter
The hydrophobic epidural filter is attached to the catheter and helps to provide additional safety and control against microbial infections.
The instructions to take care of the catheter insertion site after the placement of the catheter should be provided to you by your doctor or other medical staff. The catheter will be removed before the discharge of the patient and the site of insertion will be dressed with a gauze dressing.
Epidural catheter kit
In case the patient goes home with a temporary epidural catheter, the patient will be dressed with a clear plastic dressing. This dressing helps to see for any signs of infection or swelling. These dressings will be changed by the home nursing agency and help view any signs of infection. This can help to avoid infections and complications.
Risks of epidural administration
The procedure of placing a catheter in the epidural space may involve some risks which are as follows.
If during administration, the dura gets punctured accidentally, it can cause the cerebrospinal fluid to leak into the epidural space which can cause a post-dural-puncture headache.
Epidural administration can also cause bleeding problems in some patients.
It can also cause nerves other than the ones that carry pain signals to block.
Epidural catheter kits are a set of equipment that is used to place a catheter inside a patient’s epidural space to provide relief from surgical or chronic pain. Epidural medication is a process that should be followed strictly to minimize complications.
The epidural kits include all the necessary equipment that is used in the placement of a catheter in a patient’s epidural space which further helps to deliver medications to the patient. This medication can then be used to manage pain.
These epidural catheter kits are really helpful in treating surgical and chronic pains in patients and provide instant relief to patients. Due to the several benefits these epidural kits provide, these kits are extensively used in pain management.