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A Checklist for Performing Regional Nerve Blocks

Mulroy, Michael F. MD*; Weller, Robert S. MD; Liguori, Gregory A. MD

Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine: May/June 2014 - Volume 39 - Issue 3 - p 195–199
doi: 10.1097/AAP.0000000000000075
Special Article

Regional blocks are frequently invasive procedures that create the risk of infection, local anesthetic toxicity, and wrong-site performance. National guidelines have been developed by the Joint Commission and the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine (ASRA) to reduce the potential for each of these risks. Checklists have been shown to reduce errors and complications in medicine: it seems prudent to incorporate the recommended safety steps into a formalized checklist to be reviewed before performance of a regional block. A task force appointed by the ASRA President reviewed available resources and recommendations and performed a survey of RAPM members at the ASRA annual meeting in May 2013 and proposed a 9-point checklist to fulfill this role. Although it is apparent that local modification will be needed, the basic points and principles should be adopted for the performance of regional blocks.

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From the *Department of Anesthesiology, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA; †Department of Anesthesiology, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston, Salem, NC; and ‡Department of Anesthesiology, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY.

Accepted for publication February 11, 2014.

Address correspondence to: Michael F. Mulroy, MD, Department of Anesthesiology, Virginia Mason Medical Center, B2-AN, 1100 Ninth Ave, Seattle, WA 98101 (e-mail: Michael.Mulroy@vmmc.org).

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Presented in part at the ASRA Annual Spring Meeting, Boston, MA, May 2013.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal’s Web site (www.rapm.org).

Copyright © 2014 by American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine.