ESRA Academy. Suiter C. Sep 8, 2016; 138388; 0229 Topic: Safety of Regional Anaesthesia - Complications - General Aspects
Dr. Cillian Suiter
Dr. Cillian Suiter

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Background and Aims:

        Wrong sided blocks are rare butcan have the potential to cause serious life altering side effects and arecompletely avoidable.

         The Stop before you blockcampaign started after a number of case reports of wrong sided blocks werereported in the UK.  Initially starting locally in the Nottingham NHS trust but is now an internationally recognised and practiced check.

      The aim of this audit is to investigate the compliance of anaesthetists in the Adelaide and Meath hospital with the new patient safety initiative “stop before you block”  and to improve its uptake among the department.


Data collection sheets were filedprospectively by the Anaesthetic nurses each day.

Data sheets were filled in all theorthopaedic theatres (Theatres 1-4) as this is where vast majority of nerveblocks occur.

The data included; whether a stop before youblock check was performed, type of block, block technique, block operator andconsultant presence was also recorded.

The audit ran for 4 weeks from 15/2/16 –21/3/16 


64 blocks in total.

50% compliance rate with the “Stop before you block” check.


The poor compliance rate likely represents a lack of awareness among the anaesthetic department with the Stop before you block campaign and the challenge of changing old behaviours and reducing distractions in the anaesthetic room which also contribute. A departmental education meeting was held and reminders have now been displayed in the block areas. The audit cycle is now being repeated to measure the improvement in compliance with the stop before you block check.

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