Responding to challenges in modern combat casualty care: Innovative use of advanced regional anesthesia
ABSTRACT The war in Iraq has resulted in a high incidence of severe extremity injury requiring multiple surgical procedures and extensive rehabilitation. We describe the use of advanced regional anesthesia to meet this significant medical challenge.
From March 2003 to December 2004, 4,100 casualties have been evacuated to Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC). Of 1,400 inpatients, 750 have been battle-injured with 500 having extremity injuries. Of these, 287 (57%) received surgical care incorporating regional anesthesia including single-injection peripheral nerve blocks and continuous peripheral and epidural infusion catheters. Wounding, surgical, anesthetic, and outcomes data have been prospectively collected.
Over 900 operations (mean 4+/-2/patient) were performed on 287 casualties prior to arrival at WRAMC, and 634 operations (mean 2+/-1/patient) were performed at WRAMC. Thirty-five percent of this cohort was amputees. In the study group, 646 advanced regional anesthesia procedures, including 361 continuous peripheral nerve blocks (CPNBs), were performed with a mean catheter infusion time of 9 days (1-34). Catheter-related complications occurred in 11.9% of casualties and were technical or minor in nature. Catheter-related infection rate was 1.9%. In 126 casualties with indwelling CPNB catheters, a significant decrease in pain score over 7 days was apparent (mean 3.7+/-0.2 to 2.2+/-0.2, P<0.001).
Advanced regional anesthetic techniques allowed for safe perioperative surgical anesthesia and analgesia in the management of the modern combat casualty.
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ABSTRACT: Peripheral nerve catheters (PNCs) and local infiltration analgesia (LIA) represent valuable options for controlling perioperative pain. PNCs have been increasingly utilized to provide both surgical anesthesia and prolonged postoperative analgesia for a wide variety of procedures. PNCs can be more technically challenging to place than typical single-injection nerve blocks (SINB), and familiarity with the indications, contraindications, relevant anatomy, and appropriate technical skills is a prerequisite for the placement of any PNC. PNCs include risks of peripheral nerve injury, damage to adjacent anatomic structures, local anesthetic toxicity, intravascular injection, risks associated with motor block, risks of unnoticed injury to the insensate limb, and risks of sedation associated with PNC placement. In addition to these common risks, there are specific risks unique to each PNC insertion site. LIA strategies have emerged that seek to provide the benefit of targeted local anesthesia while minimizing collateral motor block and increasing the applicability of durable local anesthesia beyond the extremities. LIA involves the injection and/or infusion of a local anesthetic near the site of surgical incision to provide targeted analgesia. A wide variety of techniques have been described, including single-injection intraoperative wound infiltration, indwelling wound infusion catheters, and the recent high-volume LIA technique associated with joint replacement surgery. The efficacy of these techniques varies depending on specific procedures and anatomic locations. The recent incorporation of ultra-long-acting liposomal bupivacaine preparations has the potential to dramatically increase the utility of single-injection LIA. LIA represents a promising yet under-investigated method of postoperative pain control.03/2014; 28(1):41-57. DOI:10.1016/j.bpa.2014.02.002
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ABSTRACT: Since 1987, the Spanish Armed Forces have deployed their troops in a multitude of conflicts and natural disasters worldwide. The Spanish Military Medical Corps has the ability to deploy Role 1, Role 2, and one Role 3 medical treatment facilities. It also has a Role 4 in operation, the "Gómez Ulla" Central Hospital of Defense, in Madrid. The aim of this study is to describe the type of Spanish casualties evacuated from different areas of operation to the Role 4 from 2008 to 2013. A retrospective, cross-sectional study was performed on a sample of 232 patients. Among these, 211 (91%) were noncombat casualties: 126 because of illness, 53 because of an accident, and 32 because of sports injuries. The remaining 21 (9%) were combat casualties: 11 from improvised explosive devices and 10 from gunfire. Afghanistan, followed by Lebanon, is the operational area where most evacuees originate. The authors consider it essential that the Spanish Armed Forces rely on a Role 4 medical treatment facility as part of their medical support to international operations.01/2014; 179(1):71-75. DOI:10.7205/MILMED-D-13-00324
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ABSTRACT: To explore the incidence of failure of continuous peripheral nerve blockade (CPNB) after upper extremity operations. Patient data regarding postoperative CPNB were retrospectively obtained from our institution's regional anesthesia database. Documented information on the first postoperative day included pain assessment ratings (numerical verbal pain scale, patient-reported breakthrough pain upon perceived return of sensation, appearance of the catheter site, complications, time of return of sensation, day of return of sensation, residual blockade, patient satisfaction with the block, and whether patient would receive the block again). A total of 207 patients received CPNB for postoperative analgesia. The failure rate on the first postoperative day for infraclavicular (133 patients) and supraclavicular (58 patients) CPNB was 19% and 26%, respectively. Interscalene CPNB (16 patients) yielded 3 incidences of failure. No significant difference was found between supraclavicular and infraclavicular block techniques. In addition, no significant differences were found between the incidences of CPNB failures with potentially more painful surgeries involving bone compared with potentially less painful soft tissue procedures. The CPNB technique used for hand surgery postoperative analgesia was associated with nontrivial failure rates. The potential of CPNB failure and resulting breakthrough pain upon recovery from the primary nerve block is important to help establish patient expectations. Therapeutic IV.The Journal of hand surgery 02/2014; 39(2):324-329. DOI:10.1016/j.jhsa.2013.11.011 · 1.66 Impact Factor