Tourniquet at 50 mm Hg Followed by Intravenous Lidocaine Diminishes Hand Pain Associated With Propofol Injection

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We evaluated the efficacy of intravenous lidocaine, with and without a tourniquet, to decrease the intensity of pain during intravenous propofol injection in 82 patients undergoing general anesthesia. Patients in group A (n = 20) received propofol (2 mg/kg IV); patients in group B (n = 22) received 2% lidocaine (100 mg IV) followed 1 min later by propofol (2 mg/kg). Patients in group C (n = 21, saline placebo) and D (n = 19, 2% lidocaine) had an arm tourniquet inflated to 50 mm Hg applied for 1 min after gravity drainage of venous blood. The intensity of pain along the forearm was marked on a 0-100-mm visual analogue scale. Pain intensity was less in group B (21 ± 19 mm) than in group A (75 ± 28 mm; P < 0.05). Pain intensity was significantly less in group D (1 ± 2 mm) compared with group B (21 ± 19 mm; P < 0.001). We conclude that intravenous lidocaine before propofol injection attenuates the painful response; whereas, lidocaine administered after a tourniquet inflated to 50 mm Hg for 1 min virtually abolishes the pain associated with intravenous propofol.

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