Comparison of Patient-Controlled Epidural Analgesia (PCEA) with Basal Infusion and Programmed Intermittent Epidural Bolus (PIEB) with PCEA in Labour Analgesia – A One-Year Retrospective Study
Introduction: For the past thirty years, patient-controlled epidural analgesia (PCEA) with basal infusion regimen has successfully improved the variable intensity of labour pain due to its advantage in allowing self-titration by the parturient. However, a recent review on programmed intermittent epidural bolus (PIEB) with PCEA regimen proved to be superior compared to PCEA with basal infusion, in terms of higher maternal satisfaction with longer duration of analgesia and lower local anaesthetic consumption. Following the introduction of PIEB at our institution, we did a study to compare maternal satisfaction, mode of delivery and neonatal outcome between these two methods of epidural labour analgesia.
Methodology: We conducted a one-year retrospective analysis of data from obstetric analgesia service (OAS) record sheet and hospital information system evaluating outcomes after labour analgesia delivered by PCEA with basal infusion regimen (PCEA + basal infusion) and PIEB with PCEA regimen (PIEB+PCEA). The primary outcome was maternal satisfaction towards their labour analgesia. Other outcome parameters were the mode of delivery and neonatal Apgar scores. Outcomes were compared using independent t-test and Chi-square test.
Result: There was no significant difference in maternal satisfaction between the two groups (P=0.398). However, a higher percentage of excellent satisfaction was found in the PIEB + PCEA group compared to that in the PCEA + basal infusion group (PIEB+PCEA 146/172 (84.9%) vs PCEA + basal infusion 138/171 (80.7%) respectively). There was no significant difference in the mode of delivery (P=0.296). However, PIEB+PCEA group had a higher percentage of spontaneous vaginal deliveries (PIEB+PCEA 87/172 (50.6%) vs PCEA + basal infusion 70/171 (40.9%) respectively) and a lower percentage of Caesarean deliveries (PIEB + PCEA 71/172 (41.3%) vs PCEA + basal infusion 87/171 (50.9%) respectively). Despite statistically significant differences found in Apgar scores in 1 minute (P=0.036), there was no significant difference in the scores at 5 minutes (P=0.107). Apgar scores and mean (SD) at 1 minute and 5 minutes for PIEB + PCEA were 7.77(0.85) and 8.91(0.55) respectively, and for PCEA + basal infusion the scores at 1 minute and 5 minutes were 7.92(0.39) and 8.98(0.19) respectively.
Conclusion: PIEB with PCEA regimen is a newer epidural delivery technique for labour analgesia in our centre, which produced a comparable outcome to PCEA with basal infusion regimen.
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