Journal of South Asian Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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VOLUME 13 , ISSUE 6 ( November-December, 2021 ) > List of Articles


Rare Complication of Epidural Analgesia: Subcutaneous Cervical Emphysema

Keywords : Cervical emphysema, Epidural analgesia, Postdural puncture headache

Citation Information : Rare Complication of Epidural Analgesia: Subcutaneous Cervical Emphysema. J South Asian Feder Obs Gynae 2021; 13 (6):436-437.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10006-1975

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 04-03-2022

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2021; The Author(s).


As the demand for “painless labor” increases, lumbar epidural analgesia is increasingly being used in labor. It is generally a safe procedure; however, some rare cases of complications like subcutaneous cervical emphysema have been reported. Most common differential diagnosis is from postdural puncture headache (PDPH), definite diagnosis of which can be done with computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We present a case of 34-year-old primigravida who went for epidural analgesia, underwent uneventful vaginal delivery. However, she had severe neck and shoulder pain postdelivery, which did not respond to regular treatment. After CT and MRI, diagnosis of subcutaneous cervical emphysema could be established, and after treating it, she settled down and was discharged.

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