A shortage of epidural catheter kits across North America has the Saskatchewan Health Authority asking expecting families to review pain management options with the health care providers. 

In a release issued this past week, the SHA stated the supply-chain issue may impact the ability of care teams to use labour epidural analgesia for pregnant women, epidural anesthesia for cesarean sections, as well as epidurals for pain management for other procedures, such as major abdominal and chest surgeries. 

“Our patients are at the centre of everything we do,” said Dr. Mateen Raazi, SHA Provincial Department Head, Anesthesiology. “We are committed to the best possible stewardship of the resources available to us in these challenging times in order to provide the highest quality care for our patients. There are many ways we can help with safe and effective pain management for our patients having surgery and for our pregnant patients in labour.” 

The SHA stated they are working to secure further supplies, noting that there are a number of medical considerations where using an epidural improves the health and well-being of the mother and the baby.