The European Society of Regional Anaesthesia and Pain Therapy/American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine Recommendations on Local Anesthetics and Adjuvants Dosage in Pediatric Regional Anesthesia

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Abstract

Background and Objectives

Dosage of local anesthetics (LAs) used for regional anesthesia in children is not well determined. In order to evaluate and come to a consensus regarding some of these controversial topics, The European Society of Regional Anaesthesia and Pain Therapy (ESRA) and the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine (ASRA) developed a Joint Committee Practice Advisory on Local Anesthetics and Adjuvants Dosage in Pediatric Regional Anesthesia.

Methods

Representatives from both ASRA and ESRA composed the joint committee practice advisory. Evidence-based recommendations were based on a systematic search of the literature. In cases where no literature was available, expert opinion was elicited.

Results

Spinal anesthesia with bupivacaine can be performed with a dose of 1 mg/kg for newborn and/or infant and a dose of 0.5 mg/kg in older children (>1 year of age). Tetracaine 0.5% is recommended for spinal anesthesia (dose, 0.07–0.13 mL/kg). Ultrasound-guided upper-extremity peripheral nerve blocks (eg, axillary, infraclavicular, interscalene, supraclavicular) in children can be performed successfully and safely using a recommended LA dose of bupivacaine or ropivacaine of 0.5 to 1.5 mg/kg. Dexmedetomidine can be used as an adjunct to prolong the duration of peripheral nerve blocks in children.

Conclusions

High-level evidence is not yet available to guide dosage of LA used in regional blocks in children. The ASRA/ESRA recommendations intend to provide guidance in order to reduce the large variability of LA dosage currently observed in clinical practice.

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