Epidural Injury: The 9 Risks Mothers Need to Know Before Giving Birth

Epidural Injury

Receiving a spinal epidural injection is a common procedure used during labor and delivery that reduces the mother’s labor pains. Generally, it is a very safe procedure when administered correctly by a doctor or trained medical team. However, there are instances where epidural injury may occur and leave your family wondering what to do next.

Our birth injury attorneys are here to share the nine risks a mother needs to know before asking for an epidural for labor and how we will support you on your path to justice.

What is an epidural?

An epidural is a procedure where a doctor will administer medication into the space around your spinal nerves. The procedure can either provide pain relief or a complete lack of feeling in one region of your body, such as your legs or abdominal area. An anesthesiologist, a nurse anesthetist or a doctor trained to administer an epidural for labor will usually perform this procedure during the labor process when a mother is four to five centimeters dilated.

A spinal epidural may also be administered to others who need surgical anesthesia for certain areas of the body or to provide pain relief in additional surgeries.

What are the two types of labor and delivery epidural injections? 

There are two types of epidurals that are commonly used during the birth process: an epidural with a catheter and combined spinal-epidural injections. An epidural with a catheter allows your medical team to administer the medications through a catheter in your lower back. The catheter remains in your epidural space so they may adjust your medication dosage as needed during labor. The combined spinal-epidural (CSE) injection is a combination of two injections providing faster relief, ease of movement and some feeling since it is a smaller dose than the epidural with a catheter.

Whichever method you choose, your doctor should educate you on your options and the overall administration process. They are also responsible for knowing if you should not be administered an epidural for labor due to your past health history of blood clots, allergies, infection or mismanaged diabetes. If your doctor does not properly review or ask you about your health history before giving you an epidural, they may be at fault for your epidural injury in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

What are the risks of an epidural injury during birth?

Each year, more than 60 percent of women who have vaginal deliveries receive an epidural during labor. While epidurals are typically a safe procedure, there are still risks for an epidural injury to the mother. Here are the nine risks your family should be aware of before receiving an epidural for labor:

  • Leaking Spinal Fluid
  • Broken Catheters or Needles
  • Allergic Reaction
  • Back Pain
  • Partial or Permanent Paralysis
  • Nerve or Nerve Root Damage
  • Infections such as Meningitis or an Epidural Abscess
  • Blood Clotting
  • Brain Injury

With proper care and attention from your medical team, these risks may be avoided throughout and after the delivery of your baby.

When Should I Call a Birth Injury Attorney? 

When you welcome a new life in the world, you expect to receive the best care for both you and your baby. At Zevan Davidson Roman, we understand the lack of trust you may feel towards your doctor after experiencing an epidural injury during your child’s birth. We will walk with you throughout every step of the birth injury claim process to make sure you understand every step you need to take toward justice for you and your family.

If you believe you or a family member experienced an epidural injury due to a doctor’s negligence, set up a free consultation with our St. Louis birth injury attorneys to discover your options.

Missouri Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you have suffered as a result of medical malpractice, contact our legal team right away. Waiting to seek legal representation can prevent you from filing a claim and receiving the compensation you deserve.


Contact Zevan Davidson Roman today.

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