Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Back tattoos and epidurals

…As Roseanne Roseannadanna used to say, “It’s always somethin’.”

…Rachel Zimmerman, writing in the WSJ, Sept 18, 2007, says some anesthesiologists are leery of jabbing through tattoos to put in epidurals during delivery.

…According to a 2006 study, a quarter of Americans between 18 and 54 are inked. Nearly 20% of the women have tatts on their lower back.

…In 2002, apparently, two Canadian anesthesiologists questioned whether sticking through the tattooed area could be risky. They thought maybe the needle could pull some dyed skin into the area outside the spinal column, injuring the nerves there.

…They looked at three women but did not have sufficient evidence to determine the safety. Nonetheless, preggos panicked. Pregnancy Magazine picked it up, the websites hummed.

…Some inks contain metals and could react during an MRI, according to other reports. And of course, unclean tattooing equipment can spread hep and other diseases.

…A prestigious doc at Brigham & Womens, a prestigious hospital in Boston, said that if the tattoo was healed, the ink would be inert.

…Just to be on the safe side, some docs now avoid stabbing through the tattoo.

…If HA knew of someone tattooed with a tempest in a teapot, she could end this story with a flourish!

…No such luck.

…Though she will say when she had one of her units reinked once, she waited until after she weaned her daughter.

...To be on the safe side, you know.


Jeff said...

What the article failed to mention is that there are safer alternatives to body art. For example, expectant mothers can wait until their baby is born, and then get a Tattoo for their car -- has a customizable stork Tattoo that can be used to announce the birth of the child. That way, no tattoo on the body, no issue when it comes time for delivery and the epidural. Problem solved!

Star Lawrence said...

Cute idea! If the desired tatt is about your baby.