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Papers of the Week

2019 Dec

Best Pract Res Clin Anaesthesiol



Complications and liability related to regional and neuraxial anesthesia.


Liu H, Brown M, Sun L, Patel SP, Li J, Cornett EM, Urman RD, Fox CJ, Kaye A D
Best Pract Res Clin Anaesthesiol. 2019 Dec; 33(4):487-497.
PMID: 31791565.


Regional anesthesia is responsible for approximately one-fifth of professional liability claims. The present investigation evaluated common and rare complications related to regional and neuraxial anesthesia, including postdural puncture headache, backache, transient neurological symptoms, inadvertent intrathecal injection, epidural hematoma and abscess, meningitis, arachnoiditis, postoperative urinary retention, local anesthetic systemic toxicity, and cardiac arrest. Regional anesthetic techniques are increasingly used in perioperative care of surgical patients for acute pain management and for chronic pain states. This manuscript also provides an overview and analysis of the existing literature and makes some recommendations in terms of strategies to prevent or minimize the potential patient injury, with a focus on those more commonly associated with patient injury and liability exposure. The role of ultrasound in preventing patient injury during regional anesthesia is also discussed.