The below article was published in the Gulf Coast Ultrasound Newsletter this week.

Ultrasound Guided Regional Anesthesia

By offering reduced complication rates and greater patient outcomes, regional nerve block procedures have only increased in popularity as both an adjunct and an alternative to general anesthesia. Today peripheral nerve block skills are a basic staple in every Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) and Anesthesiologists armamentarium. In my opinion, nothing has increased these techniques safety or effectiveness than the use of ultrasound. After performing nerve blocks with the traditional insulated needle and stimulator technique, it was literally a revelation to visualize the needle I was using and the nerve I was trying to anesthetize with the ultrasound!

From large urban institutions to small rural community hospitals, CRNAs from all over the country are increasingly adopting ultrasound into their daily practice for both central lines and peripheral nerve blocks. Recognizing that ultrasound utilization is one of the most effective ways to increase block success, decrease complication as well as increase surgeon and patient satisfaction, CRNAs are seeking out ultrasound training opportunities in rapidly increasing numbers.

I can say without reservation that the use of ultrasound has had a significant positive impact on my practice and I certainly encourage all CRNAs and MDs to integrate ultrasound skills into their own practice. When the goal to decrease risk, increase success and provide better service to surgeons and patients can be achieved in one tool, what provider wouldn’t want to take advantage of it?

By Mike MacKinnon MSN CRNA, Peoria, AZ

Article found HERE