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Papers of the Week

2021 May 05

Reg Anesth Pain Med

Ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia in the emergency department: an argument for multidisciplinary collaboration to increase access while maintaining quality and standards.


The practice of ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia (UGRA) by emergency medicine physicians in the emergency department (ED) is increasing. The need for effective alternatives to opioid analgesia in the acute care setting likely exceeds the current capacity of UGRA-trained anesthesia teams. In this daring discourse, we outline several matters of relevance to be considered as protocols are put into place to facilitate the practice of UGRA by emergency medicine physicians in the ED. There are opportunities for collaboration between anesthesiology and emergency medicine societies in guideline development as well as educational resources. The sustained interest in UGRA shown by many emergency medicine physicians should be viewed open-mindedly by anesthesiologists. Failure to collaborate on local and national scales could lead to delays in the development and implementation of patient-centered, safe procedural care, and limit patient access to the benefits of regional anesthesia.