alexa Peripheral Nerve Blocks in Non-Operative Settings: A Review of the Evidence and Technical Commentary
ISSN: 2155-6148

Journal of Anesthesia & Clinical Research
Open Access

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Review Article

Peripheral Nerve Blocks in Non-Operative Settings: A Review of the Evidence and Technical Commentary

De QH Tran1*, Francisca Bernucci2, Worakamol Tiyaprasertkul1 and Roderick J Finlayson1

1Montreal General Hospital, Department of Anesthesia, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

2Hospital de Carabineros, Department of Anesthesia, Santiago, Chile

*Corresponding Author:
Montreal General Hospital
Department of Anesthesia, 1650 Ave Cedar
D10-144, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Tel: (514) 934-1934
Fax: (514) 934-4289
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: February 24, 2014; Accepted Date: April 01, 2014; Published Date: April 03, 2014

Citation: Tran DQH, Bernucci F, Tiyaprasertkul W, Finlayson RJ (2014) Peripheral Nerve Blocks in Non-Operative Settings: A Review of the Evidence and Technical Commentary. J Anesth Clin Res 5:398. doi: 10.4172/2155-6148.1000398

Copyright: © 2014 Tran DQH, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



This narrative review summarizes and comments the evidence derived from randomized controlled trials pertaining to the efficacy of peripheral nerve blocks in non-operative settings.

The literature search was conducted using the Medline (1966-present), Embase (1980-present), Web of Science (1900-present) and Sciverse Scopus (1996-present) databases. The following search terms were used: (“peripheral nerve block” OR “brachial plexus block” OR “interscalene block” OR “supraclavicular block” OR “infraclavicular block” OR “axillary block” OR “humeral canal block” OR “lumbosacral plexus block” OR “lumbar plexus block” OR “femoral nerve block” OR “lateral femoral cutaneous block” OR “obturator nerve block” OR “sciatic nerve block”) AND (“fractures” OR “Emergency Room” OR “Emergency Department” OR “ambulance” OR “prehospital” OR “Intensive Care Unit” OR “Intensive Care”). Only randomized controlled trials were retained for analysis.

Despite methodological shortcomings, the available evidence suggests that peripheral nerve blocks can provide pain control for upper and lower limb trauma in non-operative settings. For instance, brachial plexus blocks offer a useful alternative to procedural sedation for fracture manipulation in the Emergency Department. Lumbar plexus, 3-in-1 and femoral blocks can provide analgesia for patients with hip fractures. Femoral blocks also result in more comfortable ambulance transfers to the hospital for patients suffering from hip and knee trauma. Finally, in very elderly subjects, fascia iliaca blocks can decrease the incidence and duration of perioperative delirium.

Published reports of randomized trials provide evidence to formulate limited recommendations regarding the use of peripheral nerve blocks in non-operative settings. Further well-designed studies are warranted.


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