Do not use epinephrine in digital blocks: Myth or truth?

Citation
Bj. Wilhelmi et al., Do not use epinephrine in digital blocks: Myth or truth?, PLAS R SURG, 107(2), 2001, pp. 393-397
Citations number
64
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Surgery,"Medical Research Diagnosis & Treatment
Journal title
PLASTIC AND RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY
ISSN journal
0032-1052 → ACNP
Volume
107
Issue
2
Year of publication
2001
Pages
393 - 397
Database
ISI
SICI code
0032-1052(200102)107:2<393:DNUEID>2.0.ZU;2-3
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to examine the role for epinephrine augmentat ion of digital block anesthesia by safely prolonging its duration of action and providing a temporary hemostatic effect. After obtaining approval from the review board of the authors' institution, 60 digital block procedures were performed in a prospective randomized double-blinded study. The digita l blocks were performed using the dorsal approach. All anesthetics were del ivered to treat either posttraumatic injuries or elective conditions. Of th e 60 digital block procedures, 31 were randomized to lidocaine with epineph rine and 29 to plain lidocaine. Of the procedures performed using lidocaine with epinephrine, one patient required an additional injection versus five of the patients who were given plain lidocaine (p = 0.098). The need for c ontrol of bleeding required digital tourniquet use in 20 of 29 block proced ures with plain lidocaine and in 9 of 31 procedures using lidocaine with ep inephrine (p < 0.002). Two patients experienced complications after plain l idocaine blocks, while no complications occurred after lidocaine with epine phrine blocks (p = 0.23). By prolonging lidocaine's duration of action, epi nephrine may prevent the need for an additional injection and prolong post- procedure pain relief. This study demonstrated that the temporary hemostati c effect of epinephrine decreased the need for, and thus the potential risk of, using a digital tourniquet (p < 0.002). As the temporary vasoconstrict or effect is reversible, the threat of complication from vasoconstrictor-in duced ischemia is theoretical.