Spinal Block Treatment

A spinal block is sometimes called a “spinal.” In this procedure, a narcotic or anesthetic such as fetanyl, bupivacaine or lidocaine is injected below the spinal column directly into the spinal fluid, which provides pain relief for as long as 2 hours.

It is easy to confuse a spinal block and spinal epidural because they are both injections into the spinal area. For a spinal block, narcotics or anesthetic is injected once with a needle. For a spinal epidural or combined spinal epidural, a catheter is placed in the epidural space to allow continuous anesthesia.

A spinal block may cause one or more of the following conditions:

  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Difficulty pushing during the second stage of labor
  • Severe headache requiring an epidural blood patch
  • Pruritus (itching)
  • In rare instances, convulsions
  • Both narcotics and “caine” medications cross the placenta and
  • enter the baby’s blood stream
  • Baby might have trouble breastfeeding after birth