Archive February 2019 XX, No. 2

Ideas That Work: How to Avoid Wrong-Site Nerve Blocks

Memorial Healthcare System
PROPER PLACEMENT A wristband confirms the correct side of the body on which to place the nerve block.

Wrong-site blocks represent nearly one-fourth of all wrong-site procedures, yet we hear precious little about nerve block safety. Block site marks aren’t always visible, so patients at Memorial Healthcare System in Hollywood, Fla., wear a highlighter-green-colored wristband on the side where the anesthesiologist will do the block. “Nerve blocks need to be performed during the short time window between surgical procedures, which can increase both time pressure and the risk of distraction of the anesthesiologist,” says Donald E. Martin, MD, past president of the Pennsylvania Society of Anesthesiologists.

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