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Reminder of important clinical lesson
Horner's syndrome with epidural anaesthesia


A 29-year-old woman, primigravida, had labour induced for post-maturity following an uncomplicated antenatal course. She requested an epidural prior to commencement of syntocinon. This was administered in the sitting position without complication. The midwife noted drooping of the right eyelid of the patient 6.5 h following insertion of the epidural. Blood pressure and CTG remained reassuring. The obstetric anaesthetist reviewed the labouring woman and noted a right-sided ptosis as well as the right cheek being flushed and dry. There was no motor block and sensation in T1/T2/S3/S4 was intact. Horner's syndrome was diagnosed and anaesthetic review was recommended prior to further top-ups. The patient progressed well in the second stage of labour and did not require further top-ups and gave birth to a healthy male infant. Horner's syndrome resolved within 4 h following delivery and the postpartum period was uncomplicated.

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