Adding epinephrine to local anesthetics is recommended to extend the duration of peripheral nerve blocks. We describe in this article two cases of radial nerve injury possible due to coadministration of epinephrine during brachial plexus block.
Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical utility of Ropivacaine 0.5% and Lidocaine 0.5% anestethic combination in performing locoregional anesthesia, using either peripheral nerve stimulator or ultrasounds for brachial plexus block.
Study design: A prospective randomized clinical study was performed at the County Emergency Clinical Hospital of Tîrgu Mureș, between January and May 2013 on patients undergoing elective or emergency surgical interventions on upper limbs with locoregional anesthesia. Brachial plexus block with axillary approach was performed in 65 patients using randomly the nerve stimulator or the ultrasound guided technique. The parameters recorded were the duration of the anesthetic technique, the installation time and the length of anesthesia. All anesthetic incidents during and after anesthesia were observed as well. The recorded data were analyzed and statistically processed.
Results: We enrolled 40 (61.5%) patients for the nerve stimulation technique and 25 (38.5%) patients for ultrasound guidance. The quality of the block was acceptable, an inadequate anesthesia was reported in 9 patients (13.8%). The mean time of installation of anesthesia was 34.36 (± 11.56) minutes, time recorded from the initiation of the anesthetic technique until complete motor block. The mean duration of the motor block was 481.3 (± 128.6) minutes which represents over 8 hours. None of the patients required conversion of the anesthesia due to the extended period of the surgical intervention. One patient presented a mild allergic reaction to the anesthetic drugs.
Conclusion: Combination of the ropivacaine and lidocaine can be safely used for locoregional anesthesia, especially in those cases where long surgical intervention time is anticipated or in order to achieve a better postoperative analgesia.