This month CanadiEM is featuring an article from the Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine that looks at the applications and opinions of regional anesthesia use in the emergency department (ED). Previous studies have shown that it can reduce general anesthetic dose, requirement for post-procedural opioids, and recovery time, highlighting the potential for increased use throughout the ED.1
A cross-sectional survey was conducted by Wiercigroch et al. to better understand the use of regional anesthesia in the ED. Specifically, they surveyed Canadian emergency physicians on their opinions on their own regional anesthesia practices, perspectives, and barriers.
The results are highlighted in our visual abstract. There were 149 staff ED physician respondents.2 The most common applications of regional anesthesia include soft tissue repair (84.5%), orthopedic reduction (72.5%), and fracture pain management (79.2%). Less than half of respondents (49.0%) felt comfortable using available point-of-care ultrasound to assist with regional anesthesia. Barriers include requiring more training (76.5%), department protocols (47.0%) or nursing assistance (30.2%) to increase their regional anesthesia use in the ED.
Overall, regional anesthesia use in the emergency department is infrequent, but interest in expanding is there! Additional training, protocols, and support from nursing staff are modifiable factors that could facilitate uptake. Click here to read the full article. Check out our last CJEM infographic here.
1. Wilson C. Feeling blocked? Another pain management tool in the emergency department. Ann Emerg Med 2018;72(2):120–6.
2. Wiercigroch D, Ben-Yakov M, Porplycia D, Friedman SM. Regional anesthesia in Canadian emergency departments: Emergency physician practices, perspectives, and barriers to use. CJEM. 2020 May 21:1-5.