ESRA Academy. Anagnostides P. Sep 8, 2016; 138521; 0385 Topic: REGIONAL ANAESTHESIA TECHNIQUES - BLOCK PERFORMANCE
Dr. Patricia Anagnostides
Dr. Patricia Anagnostides

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Background and Aims:

Peripheral nerve blockade is used for anaesthesia and/or analgesia during or after surgery. The utilisation of ultrasound could potentially improve perioperative outcomes by increasing its application.

The rationale of our audit- We looked at the practical application of peripheral nerve blockade, reviewing the commonality of upper and lower limb blockade, and how they were performed, to determine anaesthetic practice in our province. 


Data collected between the 24/03/15 to the 01/05/15.

A survey was made available to consultants and trainees in hospitals in Northern Ireland looking at performance rates of upper and lower limb blockade, as well as the use and confidence levels when using ultrasound, landmark or nerve stimulator techniques.


110 responses in total             

73 responses from consultants; 4 from associate staff grades; 33 from trainees

Most commonly performed upper limb block was the interscalene block, at 38%

Most commonly performed lower limb block was the femoral block, at 83%

60% use ultrasound guided techniques, with 31% of responses indicating use of both ultrasound and nerve stimulation

Ultrasound guidance has affected practice, with an increasing number of blocks performed         

Performance of these, whether awake, asleep or under sedation, depended largely on the type of block performed

55% indicated they were confident in performing nerve blocks, most of the time

Ultrasound guidance has affected practice of peripheral nerve blockade, in Northern Ireland, with an increasing number of blocks performed. The benefits of direct visualisation of nerves and surrounding anatomy may suggest better success rates.

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