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Revista Brasileira de Anestesiologia

Print version ISSN 0034-7094


IMBELLONI, Luiz Eduardo; BEATO, Lúcia  and  GOUVEIA, M. A. Infraclavicular brachial plexus block: antero posterior approach. Rev. Bras. Anestesiol. [online]. 2001, vol.51, n.3, pp.235-243. ISSN 0034-7094.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Brachial plexus block is the preferred anesthetic technique for upper limb surgery. Although less commonly used, the infraclavicular brachial block may have some advantages. In this study we present the results of 50 patients submitted to infraclavicular plexus block by the antero posterior approach with the aid of a nerve stimulator. METHODS: Fifty patients, aged 17 to 87 years, physical status ASA I and II, scheduled for upper limb orthopedic surgery, were submitted to brachial plexus block by the infraclavicular approach. All blocks were performed with the help of a peripheral nerve stimulator starting at 1 mA. When an adequate hand, forearm or arm muscle contraction was obtained the current was decreased until the disappearance of the response. If there was no response with a stimulus above 0.6 mA, the needle was relocated in search for a better response. If response persisted with a stimulus below 0.5 mA, 50 ml of 1.6% lidocaine with epinephrine 1:200,000 were injected. The following parameters were evaluated: block onset time, surgery duration, tourniquet tolerance, sensory and motor block duration, complications and side effects. RESULTS: Blockade was effective in 94% of patients; mean onset time was 8.78 min, surgical mean duration was 65.52 min, tourniquet tolerance was 100%, mean sensory block duration was 195.56 min and mean motor block duration was 198.86 min. There has been one vascular puncture. There were no clinical signs or symptoms of toxic effects of local anesthetics and vasoconstrictors. No patient showed blockade side effects. CONCLUSIONS: Infraclavicular plexus block provides an effective anesthesia for upper limb surgery. The use of a nerve stimulator helps the technique to be both highly successful and safe: no pneumothorax or any other major complication were observed. The local anesthetic solution used provided an adequate and safe anesthesia.

Keywords : ANESTETHICS, Local: lidocaine; ANESTHETIC TECHNIQUES, Regional: brachial plexus; SURGERY, Orthopedic.

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