ESRA Academy. Suiter C. Sep 8, 2016; 138390; 0231 Topic: Peripheral Nerve Blocks
Dr. Cillian Suiter
Dr. Cillian Suiter

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Background and Aims:

Perineural catheters, also known as continuous peripheral nerve blocks, are a well validated analgesic technique. The aim of this audit project was to establish a benchmark of the use of perineural catheters in Tallaght hospital including the time & date of insertion and indications for use, whilst also evaluating their analgesic efficacy.



A data collection sheet was filled out by a healthcare professional for each patient that received a perineural catheter. The data included time/date of insertion, post operative pain scores in recovery and on the ward using the verbal rating scale (VRS), analgesic consumption, time to first PRN opioid analgesic required and patient satisfaction.

The patients were followed for 48 hours or until the catheter was removed. The pain was recorded at 6 hours, 12 hours, 24 hours and 48 hours post operatively. 


23 Catheters inserted between May 2015 – March 2016. 11 amputations (one patient had a 2nd catheter inserted), 2 polytrauma patients (paravertebral/popliteal), 7 upper limb/shoulder replacement procedures & 2 ankle procedures. 64 % lower limb procedures (amputation and non-amputation) and 28% upper limb procedures required opioid rescue analgesia in recovery. Overall patient satisfaction was high.


As expected pain scores were highest, required the most rescue analgesia and had the shortest time to first PRN needed on the ward for amputations. However the results of this pilot study suggest that pain even for these patients can be controlled. The study also shows perineural catheters are very effective in post op pain relief for upper limb surgeries. 

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