A Checklist for Performing Regional Nerve Blocks

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Abstract

Regional blocks are frequently invasive procedures that create the risk of infection, local anesthetic toxicity, and wrong-site performance. National guidelines have been developed by the Joint Commission and the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine (ASRA) to reduce the potential for each of these risks. Checklists have been shown to reduce errors and complications in medicine: it seems prudent to incorporate the recommended safety steps into a formalized checklist to be reviewed before performance of a regional block. A task force appointed by the ASRA President reviewed available resources and recommendations and performed a survey of RAPM members at the ASRA annual meeting in May 2013 and proposed a 9-point checklist to fulfill this role. Although it is apparent that local modification will be needed, the basic points and principles should be adopted for the performance of regional blocks.

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