Healthcare Workers Advised To Limit Use Of Epidurals Amid Global Shortage

Experts advise obstetric use only


Article heading image for Healthcare Workers Advised To Limit Use Of Epidurals Amid Global Shortage

Healthcare workers are being told to limit the use of epidurals for obstetric patients amid a global shortage.

The global shortage which has only recently reached Australian hospitals has forced healthcare workers to limit the use of epidural kits to obstetric patients only. 

A spokesperson for the Therapeutic Goods Administration told the Sydney Morning Herald that the TGA received an alert from overseas on July 18 acknowledging a shortage of the medication worldwide. 

The alert outlined “temporary supply issues affecting particular brands of epidural kits in overseas markets”.

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Epidurals are mostly used to assist people with the pain of childbirth but are also used to mitigate pain following certain surgical procedures. 

Victoria and NSW health departments have informed all relevant healthcare operators of the shortage which mainly affects one popular brand of epidural kits.

Both NSW and Victoria health departments have advised that epidural kits should be used exclusively for obstetric care in an attempt to save the small number of kits currently available.

According to the Therapeutic Goods Administration, the shortage is expected to be resolved by the end of the month.

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Georgie Marr

25 July 2022

Article by:

Georgie Marr




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