The Optimal Motor Response for Infraclavicular Brachial Plexus Block

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BACKGROUND:In this prospective study we compared the success of the infraclavicular brachial plexus block using double-stimulation in regard to the second nerve response elicited with neurostimulation.METHODS:Six-hundred-twenty-eight patients undergoing emergency upper limb surgery using infraclavicular brachial plexus block were included in this study. The musculocutaneous nerve was initially blocked and the groups were then evaluated according to the second nerve located, which was radial in 54%, median in 35%, and ulnar in 11% of patients. Blocks were performed using lidocaine 1.5% with 1/400,000 epinephrine 40 mL in all cases. The block was assessed every 5 min for 30 min after completion of the block.RESULTS:The success rate was 96% for the radial response group, 89% for the median response group, and 90% for the ulnar response group (P < 0.05). Time to perform the block and the onset time were not significantly different among groups. No serious complications were observed.CONCLUSION:We conclude that having initially located and blocked the musculocutaneous nerve, subsequent injection on a radial response resulted in a slightly more reliable success rate than injection with an ulnar or median response.

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