Thoracic epidural tips for lateral / GA


– count up from L2/3 and also down from C7 spinous process (major prominence in neck) to identify level

– if under GA try 3 different spaces before resorting to para-median approach as patient is not awake to be a marker of danger

– maintain thumb of non-needling hand on spinous process above space

– feed epidural to that natural curve tends to take it cephelad

– tunnel catheter (less movement, earlier marker of infection):

  • nick in skin prior to needling
  • feed 16G gelco sub-dermally in lateral direction approx 5cm
  • cut off end obliquely
  • pass through catheter without touching skin


– PM @ LGH


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