JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Safe epidural analgesia in thirty parturients with platelet counts between 69,000 and 98,000 mm(-3).

Regional anesthesia is a popular form of pain relief for the management of labor and delivery. Thrombocytopenia is considered a relative contraindication to the administration of regional anesthesia. Some authorities have recommended that an epidural anesthetic be withheld if the platelet count is <100,000 mm(-3). For the period of March 1993 through February 1996, we reviewed the charts of all parturients who had a platelet count <100,000 mm(-3) during the peripartum period. Eighty women met this criterion. Of these 80, 30 had an epidural anesthetic placed when the platelet count was <100,000 mm(-3) (range 69,000-98,000 mm(-3)), 22 had an epidural anesthetic placed with a platelet count >100,000 mm(-3) that subsequently decreased below 100,000 mm(-3), and 28 did not receive a regional anesthetic. We found no documentation of any neurologic complications in the medical records. We conclude that regional anesthesia should not necessarily be withheld when the platelet count is <100,000 mm(-3).

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