ESRA Academy. Lewinsohn B. Sep 8, 2016; 138266; 0089 Topic: Safety of Regional Anaesthesia - Complications - General Aspects
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Bradley Lewinsohn
Bradley Lewinsohn

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Background and Aims:

The practice of regional blockade is variable among anaesthetists. There is limited data available to evaluate current methods, knowledge and service requirements.1 This survey aimed to assess both the extent of practice and suggestions for improvement.


We distributed an electronic survey amongst 63 anaesthetists, from core trainee to consultant level. The questions concerned the practice of regional anaesthesia, use of ultrasound guidance, phrenic nerve palsy risk stratification, follow up, and potential improvements to the department.


The response rate was 60%, with most responders being at consultant level (66%) performing regional blocks regularly (82%), with 47% using ultrasound guidance invariably and 39% on ‘most occasions’. The interscalene nerve block was identified by 50% of respondents as the highest probability of instigating temporary phrenic nerve palsy. Only 50% followed up block patients in recovery, whilst 45% ‘sometimes’ did, citing time constraints as a limiting factor. A “Block Room” service was met with enthusiasm by 58% of respondents, whilst 24% preferred to perform blocks on their own. This survey also highlighted the need for additional ultrasound units.


This is the first survey to assess regional blockade practice at Broomfield hospital. It identified that more can be done to improve the delivery of our service. The need for an additional 3-4 new ultrasound units was identified by most respondents, which is of key significance, as availability of ultrasound may lead to clinicians resorting to landmark techniques1.

1. A. Mahmood, M. Auldin, A. Sultan. Barriers for Anaesthetists in Performing Nerve Blocks with Ultrasound Guidance. BJMP 2012;5(1):a508.

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