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Anesthesia

Epidural complications

10/12/2007

Question:

I had an epidural on 8/7/07 due to having a baby. First, I had difficulty breathing, and then my heart rate hit over 180 (normally 90/70). Finally, my mind went blank, I started crying uncontrollably, and I felt utter doom... Since then I have countless problems. I have had a spinal headache for 2.5 months, my neck is stiff, tingling/numbing mainly in the brain - it has recently spread... I have weekness in the limbs and face as well as tingling/numbing sensations. I also have the sensations down my spinal column. I feel like I am burning up inside, but I have a subtemp, not a fever. My hearing goes in and out; it feels like the pressure is changing in my ear, then my hearing decreases temporarily. I also have ringing in my ears. I feel a little paranoid/jumpy and hear a baby screaming sound that is like an echo when there is no baby screaming.

Oh, I was 100% completely normal, young, & healthy before. HELP! Can I be fixed? What should I do? : ( I had a CT scan of the brain that was 100% normal. Now, I`m waiting to get in to see an anesthesiologist.

Answer:

Dealing with these unpleasant symptoms must be very difficult for you. It is hard to see how your epidural could be responsible however. I suggest you seek medical attention from your primary care doctor as soon as possible.

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Response by:

Gareth S Kantor, MD Gareth S Kantor, MD
Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University