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Early Intralipid Therapy May Have Prevented Bupivacaine-Associated Cardiac Arrest
  1. Thomas McCutchen, M.D. and
  2. J. C. Gerancher, M.D.
  1. Department of Anesthesiology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC.


Objective: Local anesthetic-induced cardiotoxicity remains a complication of regional anesthesia, with the potential to result in cardiac arrest refractory to resuscitation. Successful resuscitation using Intralipid (Baxter Pharmaceuticals by Fresenius Kabi, Uppsala, Sweden), has been reported in 2 patients with bupivacaine-induced cardiac arrest.

Case Report: We report another case for which Intralipid was used as part of a successful resuscitation in a patient with local anesthetic-induced cardiotoxicity.

Conclusions: Early treatment with Intralipid may help prevent cardiac arrest and speed successful resuscitation efforts.

  • Bupivacaine toxicity
  • Lipid therapy
  • Local anesthetic toxicity
  • Lipid rescue
  • Cardiotoxicity

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  • Reprint requests: Thomas McCutchen, M.D., Department of Anesthesiology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC 27157. E-mail: mccutcq{at}

  • A condensed version of this case has been posted on the LipidRescue website (