Multimodal analgesia in crotalid snakebite envenomation: A novel use of femoral nerve block

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Snakebite envenomations occur throughout the United States, with most envenomations resulting from Crotalid bites. These envenomations can result in severe pain despite aggressive analgesia due to effects of venom toxins. We report a case in which we treated a 44- year-old man who sustained a Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) bite to his left hallux with progressive local toxicity, including severe pain radiating into his upper leg, without evidence of compartment syndrome or coagulopathy. His pain was unresponsive to multiple doses of opioids.We performed a fascia iliaca compartment femoral nerve block under dynamic ultrasound guidance with 20 mL of 0.25% bupivacaine, which provided substantial pain relief in his upper leg. To our knowledge, this is a novel application of regional anesthesia with peripheral nerve block. We demonstrate fascia iliaca compartment femoral nerve block may be a safe, beneficial technique for emergency physicians to utilize in providing multimodal analgesia in Crotalid envenomation.

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