Date of Award


Document Type

Independent Study

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Epidural anesthesia is a popular choice among women for pain control during labor. There are several techniques that can be utilized by anesthesia providers to deliver this type of regional anesthesia. Traditional epidurals have been in use the longest and may be associated with prolonged labor, the need to augment with oxytocin, and an increase in the rate of incremental delivery (Anim-Somuab, Smjth, & Howell, 2005). The combined spinal-epidural technique was introduced to offer more flexibility and to decrease the incidence of adverse effects seen with traditional epidural anesthesia. This evidence-based review of literature will focus on studies that compare the two techniques to ascertain if anesthesia providers should utilize one technique over the other. The results of reviewing randomized controlled trials that compare the two techniques have shown that there is little basis for offering combined spinal epidurals over the traditional epidural. Both have proven to be equally effective.