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Can an epidural have a negative impact?

If you're in labor, an epidural may feel like a miracle. It can drastically reduce the pain of your contractions and may even allow you to get some sleep at a time when your body really needs it. Modern medicine has certainly come a long way over the years.

But are there any negative impacts you need to watch out for? There certainly can be.

After all, the epidural is inserted into the spine. Even after the painkillers wear off, you could have weakness, tingling or numbness that doesn't go away. In some cases, this may mean that the needle actually caused nerve damage.

In other cases, you could end up with more major neurologic symptoms. Some of them could be:

  • Paralysis
  • Weakness
  • Loss of sensation in multiple body parts or areas
  • Changes in bladder function and bowel function
  • Severe pain

The reasons for these major issues do vary, but it could mean that there is an infection at the site where the epidural was inserted. It could also indicate that you are experiencing prolonged bleeding. You may have an abscess or an epidural hematoma. You may even have nerve damage and spinal cord damage, either from the procedure or from the accumulation of pus and blood at the site, which puts pressure on those areas over time.

Whether your symptoms are major or minor, they definitely change the birthing experience for you. This is supposed to be one of the happiest times of your life. If you think that a medical mistake caused your condition, you need to know what legal steps to take.

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