Medicine: Caudal Problems

So far, doctors have reported about 1,000 cases of childbirth with continuous caudal anesthesia (TIME, Feb. 1) without loss of a single mother from the anesthetic. Its advantages: it cuts off pain sensations, without impairing a mother's ability to help the childbirth process; it usually shortens delivery time; it does not drug the child. But few medicos besides Drs. R. A. Hingson and W. B. Edwards, who developed the technique, feel absolutely sure of themselves when using it.

The method involves the ticklish business of getting a needle into the caudal canal through a puncture just above the coccyx at the...

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