ESRA Academy. Eeles A. Sep 8, 2016; 138522; 0386 Topic: Safety of Regional Anaesthesia - Complications - General Aspects
Dr. Alex Eeles
Dr. Alex Eeles

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Background and Aims:

Anaesthetists often require assistants when performing procedures. When performing regional blocks, the Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) is often required to set up the equipment and inject the local anaesthetic whilst the Anaesthetist performs the block. It has been shown by research that the pressure of the injection is closely linked to neuronal damage. The team set about to investigate if there was a difference between the injection speeds and pressures of a group of ODP’s and Anaesthetists. 


The participants were asked to inject two 5ml boluses of a 0.9% saline solution at a rate and pressure they would be happy to inject if performing a block. The two boluses were individually timed by a stopwatch and the pressure was assessed via the B-smart device. The participants were unable to see the 8cm Stimiplex needle or the B-Smart pressure monitor attached to the other end of the tubing and were unaware that the pressure was being measured.


On average, the group of ODP’s (n=30) took longer to inject the 5ml boluses than the Anaesthetists (n=21) (25.2 seconds vs 21.8 seconds). All of the pressure measurements in the ODP group were safe (<15psi, white indicator). In the Anaesthetist group, 9% recorded yellow (15-20psi) or red (>20psi) pressures which could be considered less safe.


The injection pressures of the ODP's were all within safe limits. The highest injection pressures were created by the most senior anaesthetists and the male participants injected at a quicker rate than the female participants. 

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