Does epidural analgesia affect the rate of spontaneous obstetric lacerations in normal births?

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Does epidural analgesia affect the rate of spontaneous obstetric lacerations in normal births?

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Albers LL; Migliaccio L; Bedrick EJ; Teaf D; Peralta P University of New Mexico College of Nursing, Nursing/Pharmacy Building, Room 216, Albuquerque, NM 87131-5688, USA. lalbers@salud.unm.edu The precise relationship between epidural use and genital tract lacerations in normal childbirth is unclear. Data from a clinical trial on measures to lower genital tract trauma in vaginal birth were used for a secondary analysis. The goal was to assess whether epidurals affect the rate of spontaneous obstetric lacerations in normal vaginal births. Maternal characteristics and intrapartum variables were compared in women who did and did not use an epidural in labor, and also in those with and without any sutured lacerations following vaginal birth. Variables that were statistically different in both cases were entered into regression equations for simultaneous adjustment. Epidural use was not an independent predictor of sutured lacerations. Predictors of sutured lacerations included nulliparity, a