|LETTER TO EDITOR
|Year : 2020 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 234-235
Costly nerve block needles for ultrasound.guided peripheral blocks! Is there a viable choice?
Department of Anaesthesiology, Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
|Date of Submission||03-Mar-2020|
|Date of Decision||02-May-2020|
|Date of Acceptance||09-May-2020|
|Date of Web Publication||18-Dec-2020|
Dr. Varun Suresh
Department of Anaesthesiology, Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Suresh V. Costly nerve block needles for ultrasound.guided peripheral blocks! Is there a viable choice?. BLDE Univ J Health Sci 2020;5:234-5
Unfortunately, disposable peripheral nerve stimulator needles, which are most commonly used in ultrasound-guided nerve blocks, are being reused for their cost and availability. This leaves behind, breaches in the stringent aseptic techniques to be followed while instituting a nerve block.
We describe an indigenous affordable alternative for costlier nerve stimulator needle, combining a ubiquitous 22G Quincke–Babcock spinal needle and an extension line attached to it. Whether to choose between venous and arterial extension line, depends on availability (note: pressure-monitoring lines need less priming volume). Preparation includes a 22G Quincke–Babcock spinal needle, made artificially blunt by rubbing over a sterile cloth to which an extension line is attached and then primed [Figure 1]. Then after, block is performed as a routine with reasonable reflection to ultrasound beams by these needles for identification [Figure 2].
|Figure 2: Spinal needle under Ultrasonography guidance towards target nerve bundle|
Click here to view
Peripheral nerve stimulator needles were used in ultrasound-guided nerve blocks to provide additional safety from nerve damage as this technique combines both visual and electrical proximity to target nerve. Sooner, with expertise in sonology among anesthesiologists, there is a notable trend toward reserving nerve stimulation component limited to demonstrative purposes. Studies demonstrated that the risk of fascicle injury was lower with a short bevel needle penetrating a nerve than a long beveled one. There are contrary studies as well. Although it may be more difficult to enter a nerve fascicle with a short bevel needle, once pierced, the short bevel caused a more severe lesion. Direct evidence for an association between needle tip design and the incidence of nerve injury is still nonconclusive. Ultrasound guidance improved the efficiency of block in comparison with the peripheral nerve stimulator-guided methods, but whether ultrasound decreases the nerve injury need to be further evaluated. Notably, postoperative neurological symptoms were more common in patients who experienced procedure induced paresthesia.
Although search for a nontraumatic, sonoreflective needle is in progress, most of these are still beyond the reach of practitioners in remote locations. A significant dearth of nerve stimulator needle, due to the unavailability and cost, compels many hospitals to resort to unhealthy practice of reusing these disposable needles, adding on to the obvious risks. Our indigenous combination of using a ubiquitous Quincke–Babcock spinal needle with a reasonable sonoreflective property and an extension line, addresses this issue. The 23G Quincke–Babcock spinal needle is blunted enough by rubbing on the sterile cloth, to reserve intraneural entry and provide the “feel” to the operator.
The relatively high cost and lack of hospital stocks of nerve stimulator needle become the limiting factor in popularizing the continued practice of ultrasound-guided peripheral nerve blocks in developing countries. Our technique can be a cost-effective alternative, especially in the hands of experienced anesthesiologists, who will be mostly under the pressure to reduce the cost of regional techniques. However, we still suggest the traditional combination techniques for novices, until the long-term safety of our method is evaluated by multicentric randomized trials.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
| References|| |
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[Figure 1], [Figure 2]