Ultrasound Guided Nerve Blockade
Recent advances in technology have brought a new generation of portable and affordable 2-D ultrasound devices to patients' bedsides and following the introduction of NICE guidelines recommending the use of ultrasound for the placement of central venous catheters, the availability of these devices in anaesthetic environments is increasing.
One developing area of ultrasound use in anaesthesia is for performing peripheral nerve blockade. Portable 2D ultrasound allows the clinican to place needles with precision, guided by a real-time image of the patient's actual anatomy and not that implied by surface anatomy landmarks. Such a technique offers potential advantages including:
Improved effectiveness with accurate and reliable deposition of local anaesthetic to target.
Improved safety profile with the potential to eliminate traumatic nerve injury from needle placement and intravascular injection.
Eliminates technical difficulties associated with individual anatomical variation and distortion in for example obese patients.In order to benefit from these advantages, clinicians require training in this new technique as well as access to appropriate equipment and consumables. It is hoped that this electronic introductory text will generate interest amongst clinicians and encourage them to undertake training and continue to develop this potentially revolutionary field.
Author: Dr. James Barrington FRCA & Dr. Barry Nicholls FRCA
Created/Updated: January 2006
Size: 4.5 MB