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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 149-153

A prospective observational study of the efficacy of combined interscalene block and superficial cervical plexus block using peripheral nerve stimulator and landmark-based technique, as a sole anesthetic for surgeries on the clavicle in the COVID-19 pandemic

Department of Anaesthesiology and Pain Medicine, KPC Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Uma Majumdar
32A, Block H, New Alipore, Kolkata - 700 053, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aer.aer_80_22

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Background: Fractures of the clavicle are usually operated under general anesthesia (GA) as they need dense anesthesia, and the airway is difficult to access intraoperatively. There is no established regional anesthesia (RA) technique for clavicular fractures, also as the innervation is contentious. Some studies have been done using RA techniques, but they are all small case numbers. RA is superior to GA in many ways, and we wished to avoid GA specifically during the COVID-19 pandemic. Aims: This study aimed to use a peripheral nerve stimulator and a landmark-based technique to give interscalene block (ISB) and superficial cervical plexus block (SCPB) as a sole anesthetic for clavicular fracture surgeries during the COVID-19 pandemic. Settings and Design: This was a prospective observational study in a tertiary care teaching hospital in eastern India. Materials and Methods: After approval from our ethics committee and informed consent, thirty patients of American Society of Anesthesiologists Class I or II, aged 18–65 years, after exclusion criteria were selected who had to undergo clavicular surgery. Three 10-mL syringes were made, each with 5 mL of 0.75% ropivacaine, 2 mL of 2% lignocaine with 1:200,000 adrenaline, and 3 mL of saline. Using the HNS Stimuplex (B. Braun Melsungen AG, Melsungen, Germany) nerve stimulator, 20 mL was given for an ISB and 5 mL for the SCPB. RA was considered successful if there was no conversion to GA and surgery could be performed. Results: With an onset time of 6.53 ± 2.17 min, good operating conditions were obtained in all our patients. Horner's syndrome was noted in two patients. Surgery was successfully carried out in all thirty patients under RA. Pain relief lasted postoperatively for 5 ± 0.92 h. Conclusion: ISB combined with SCPB is safe and effective as a sole anesthetic for clavicular surgery. We successfully avoided the use of a general anesthetic in these patients during the COVID-19 pandemic and gave them a safe and effective alternative.

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