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Warning to pregnant women as NHS faces shortage of pain relief

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Expectant mums are being given an urgent warning that may soon derail their birth plans as the NHS has revealed it is facing a shortage of epidural kits to provide pain relief during delivery - alongside a shortage of an alternative pain relieving drug too.

Epidurals are an injection given into a patient’s back during labour to stop them from feeling pain.They are always administered by an anaesthetist, - although not everyone can have them, as clinical risks such as heavy bleeding may mean some mums have to rule out the option.

In cases where an epidural isn’t a suitable form of pain relief, doctors can prescribe another powerful drug called Remifentanil, however this drug is now also in short supply, meaning some mums in the middle of labour could be left facing long delays to access pain relief.

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