Secondary Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Exploring the Role of Regional Anesthesia in the Treatment of the Burn-injured Patient

A Narrative Review of Current Literature

Town, Cienwen J., GDipEdSt, BN*,†; Johnson, James, FANZCA, MBBS*; Van Zundert, André, PhD, MD, FRCA, EDRA, FANZCA*,†; Strand, Haakan, PhD

doi: 10.1097/AJP.0000000000000680
Review Articles

Objectives: The review article was designed to assess the effectiveness of regional anesthesia (RA), specifically peripheral nerve blocks, in the treatment of burn pain; with noting of clinical indications and contraindications for peripheral nerve block application, along with discussion of evidence-based analgesic strategies for providing improved, comprehensive burn pain management.

Materials and Methods: A search of relevant literature was performed using CINAHL, PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, and SCOPUS with a publication date between January 2005 and December 2017.

Results: The search yielded 10 results that met criteria. Two randomized control trials were included, though they focused on analgesia for donor-site pain only, 1 clinical trial, 2 case series, 2 retrospective audit, 1 burn protocol, and 2 review articles.

Discussion: RA techniques are an adjunct therapy currently used worldwide to improve patient pain outcomes and reduce the adverse effects associated with general anesthetic. RA presents a safe and effective intervention for acute pain resulting from burn-acquired injury. This review of current literature supports the use of RA as a treatment to manage pain associated with burn-related care procedures as an addition to multimodal pain treatment. To date there is limited evidence showing the use of RA in the burns’ patient population. In addition, there appear to be no particular risks to using the technique of RA in this group. Further prospective studies are required to provide information about the benefits and limitations of RA.

*Department of Anesthetics and Perioperative Medicine, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Herston

Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Qld, Australia

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Cienwen J. Town, GDipEdSt, BN, Department of Anesthetics and Perioperative Medicine, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Herston, Qld 4029, Australia (e-mail:

Received June 19, 2018

Received in revised form November 18, 2018

Accepted November 29, 2018

Copyright © 2019 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.