Archive Anesthesia 2018

The Case for Continuous Nerve Blocks

Get on board with the best way to manage post-op pain without opioids.

Stavros Memtsoudis

Stavros Memtsoudis, MD, PhD


ON TARGET Ultrasound guidance helps providers place blocks that deliver local anesthetics for optimal effect.

Patients who've just had their knee replaced or their gallbladder removed usually head home feeling pretty good, thanks to the multimodal cocktails you serve neat with a dash of local anesthesia. The effects of your pain control methods might even extend into the day after discharge.

And then it happens.

The regional block you placed and the meds you administered wear off, leaving the patient in enough pain to make your satisfaction scores suffer.

What now?

Patients could pop a few painkillers, but that would put them at risk of significant complications, not the least of which is becoming the latest victim of the nationwide opioid epidemic. No, there's a better way to augment the efforts you make on the day of surgery to make patients as comfortable as possible. Placing continuous nerve blocks (CNBs) to infuse surgical sites with analgesic agents is the best option for prolonged pain control without resorting to opioids. They're also the wave of the future. With more complex cases being done in outpatient ORs, so now's the time to get your program up and running.

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