3rd National Audit Project (NAP3)

National Audit of Major Complications of Central Neuraxial Block in the United Kingdom

Report and Findings, January 2009

The largest ever prospective study into the major complications of epidurals and spinal anaesthetics concludes that previous studies have over-estimated the risks of severe complications of these procedures. The study concludes that the estimated risk of permanent harm following a spinal anaesthetic or epidural is lower than 1 in 20,000 and in many circumstances the estimated risk is considerably lower.


Further information

For any further enquiries please contact:

Dr Tim Cook
Consultant Anaesthetist
Royal United Hospital, Bath
Joint Lead for the 3rd National Anaesthesia Audit

Published articles:

Cook TM, Counsell D, Wildsmith JAW on behalf of The Royal College of Anaesthetists Third National Audit Project. Major complications of central neuraxial block: report on the Third National Audit Project of the Royal College of Anaesthetists. Br J Anaesth 2009;102 (2):179–190.