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Papers of the Week

2020 Feb 05

Am J Emerg Med

Successful emergency pain control for acute pancreatitis with ultrasound guided erector spinae plane blocks.


Mantuani D, Josh Luftig PA, Herring A, Mian M, Nagdev A
Am J Emerg Med. 2020 Feb 05.
PMID: 32081553.


Pain control for patients in the Emergency Department (ED) with acute pancreatitis (AP) can be difficult and is often limited to intravenous opioids. The acute side effects from opioids are well known and their use in the treatment of AP is associated with prolonged length of hospitalization. Additionally, up to 10% of patients hospitalized for acute pancreatitis are still receiving opioids 6 months after discharge. Ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia by emergency physicians has increasingly proven to be an integral part of a multi-modal opioid sparing pain control strategy for patients in the ED. The ultrasound guided erector spinae plane block may be an ideal adjunct or alternative to opioids for analgesia from AP in the ED. The erector spinae plane block has already been successfully utilized by emergency physicians for pain control from rib fractures, herpes zoster, and more recently, acute appendicitis A lower thoracic erector spinae plane block targets sympathetic nerve fibers in addition to the dorsal and ventral rami via local anesthetic spread to the paravertebral space to provide both visceral and somatic analgesia. Herein, we present the first reported case of acute pancreatitis pain successfully managed by emergency physicians with the ESPB.