Background and aims Regional anaesthesia (RA) is commonly used for operative and post-operative analgesia but its use in intensive care units (ICU) is less common. There are potential benefits and challenges to the use of RA in ICU. We aimed to investigate current attitudes among ICU medical staff towards the use of RA and whether it should play a role in the management of their patients.
Methods An online survey was sent to all ICU and anaesthetic departments within the West of Scotland Deanery. The survey was open for 4 weeks and included ten questions considering whether practitioners used regional in their current practice (and, if so, what modality) along with their perceived advantages and disadvantages of RA. Data was analysed using WPS software.
Results Over the study period 52 doctors responded. 87% were consultants and 79% had worked in the same unit for >2 years. Regional anaesthesia was most commonly performed by respondents outside of their ICU role (79%); however, 62% had performed it within their ICU role. Most stated they felt comfortable performing a regional block on a patient in ICU (mean 7.23 on a scale of 1–10). 75% considered neuraxial blockade as appropriate analgesia, with 34% considering peripheral blockade [AM1]. The potential advantages of regional anaesthesia were seen by most but many expressed reservations about the potentially serious complications.
Conclusions We show that most doctors have a positive attitude towards RA within the ICU setting, however, there are still reservations which need to be overcome before it becomes commonplace.
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