Peripheral nerve blockade with long-acting local anesthetics: a survey of the Society for Ambulatory Anesthesia.
UNLABELLED: Despite the growth of ambulatory anesthesia and the renewed popularity of regional techniques, there is little current information concerning outpatient regional anesthesia practices or attitudes about discharge with an insensate extremity. We present results from a survey sent to all members of the Society for Ambulatory Anesthesia (SAMBA). The survey was mailed in January 2001 to 2373 SAMBA members, along with a self-addressed stamped return envelope. After 3 mo, 1078 surveys were returned (response rate 45%). Respondents indicated that they were most likely to perform axillary (77%), interscalene (67%), and ankle blocks (68%) on ambulatory patients. They were less likely to perform lower extremity conduction blocks in ambulatory patients (femoral blocks, 40%; all other types of blocks, <23%]. Eighty-five percent of respondents discharged patients with long-acting blocks, but this was mainly limited to three types. Of the 16% who never or rarely discharged patients with long-acting blocks, the primary reasons were concern about patient injury (49%) and the inability for patients to care for themselves (28%). Only 22% of office-based anesthesiologists would perform upper extremity blocks and only 28% would perform lower extremity blocks (P < 0.001). This survey demonstrates that use of regional anesthesia in outpatients is common but restricted to a few techniques. Discharge with an insensate upper extremity is prevalent but discharge with an insensate lower extremity is not common and remains controversial. Despite the reasoning for the reported practices, randomized data are necessary to confirm the validity of these concerns. IMPLICATIONS: This survey demonstrates that use of regional anesthesia in outpatients is common but restricted to a few techniques. Discharge with an insensate upper extremity is common but discharge with an insensate lower extremity is not prevalent and remains controversial.
Klein, SM; Pietrobon, R; Nielsen, KC; Warner, DS; Greengrass, RA; Steele, SM
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