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Current Epidural Practice – Results of a Survey of Military Anaesthetists
  1. KL Woods, Specialist Registrar Anaesthetics1 and
  2. Lt Col Aldington, FFPMRCA RAMC, Consultant in Pain Medicine2
  1. 1James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough
  2. 2Pain Relief Unit, Churchill Hospital. OXFORD


Objectives As epidurals are now used for pain relief on deployment a survey was conducted to look at the current epidural practice of UK military anaesthetists. The aim was to identify any potential issues with regard to equipment and training to allow future development of pre-deployment training.

Methods An internet based survey was carried out. All military anaesthetists were sent an e-mail containing a link to the survey and the results of those who responded were analysed.

Results A total of 49 surveys were completed. 78% of respondents carried out epidurals more than once a month, in a wide range of specialities. There was considerable variation in methods of securing epidurals and in drug choice amongst respondents.

Conclusions The results of this survey show that whilst epidurals are commonly carried out amongst military anaesthetists during their UK practice, there is significant variation within the practice. Areas have been identified for development of educational courses, for example methods of securing epidurals, and these have already been acted upon.

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