New innovative technology at Northern Arizona Healthcare’s Verde Valley Medical Center enhances birthing experience

Northern Arizona Healthcare’s Verde Valley Medical Center is changing the way birthing mothers receive epidurals. Recently, VVMC began using a hand-held ultrasound epidural system, which makes pain reduction during delivery a seamless and safe 1-2-3 process: A two-minute scan of the back, precise needle positioning and a single injection. VVMC is the first hospital in Arizona to use this new technologically for epidural placement.

Despite significant progress in medical technology, many anesthesiologists still rely on their senses of touch to locate the proper location to inject an epidural. With VVMC’s approach, anesthesiologists eliminate the discomfort and potential health challenges to patients posed by multiple needle placement attempts.

VVMC invested in the hand-held ultrasound epidural system to enhance the birth experience. Along with patient-controlled epidurals − where patients can control the dosage received − this technology assures patients they are receiving the most state-of-the-art care during one of the most powerful and exhausting experiences of their lives. 

Precise placement is extremely important when dealing with sensitive areas of the body such as the spine. We can get patients more comfortable sooner with fewer needle sticks and more certainty.

Brian Launius, M.D., anesthesiologist and medical director of peri operative services at VVMC