What is the overall risk of epidural hematoma?
The overall risk of spinal or epidural hematoma fol-lowing neuraxial anesthesia is in the range of 1:150,000–250,000. Vandermeulen et al. (1994) reviewed the literature and found 61 cases of anesthesia-related epidural hematoma. This review has better defined the risks of epidural hematoma. Most (68%) occurred in patients with coagulopathies and 75% of all patients had an epidural rather than a spinal anesthetic. Of those who received an epidural anesthetic, 88% had an epidural catheter inserted and almost 50% of those patients devel-oped an epidural hematoma following catheter removal.