Background and Aims Ultrasound guided axillary brachial plexus block is useful for a variety of upper extremity surgical procedures. SAFIRA® - SAFer Injection for Regional Anaesthesia is a novel device allowing a single operator to conduct the whole block procedure by controlling solution injection using a pedal. The aim of this study was to compare the block technique using an assistant to perform the injection with the use of SAFIRA®.
Methods 20 patients undergoing surgery of the upper limb were randomly allocated into two groups (n = 10). Group A, where block was performed by two persons and group B where block was performed by a single anesthesiologist using SAFIRA®. Procedure duration (including time for prescanning), block success and block onset time were assessed. Additionally, complications involving nerve injury were recorded. Blocks were performed by the same two anesthesiologists.
Results The time needed to perform the block was similar in both groups (290 seconds ± 128, Group A versus 221 ± 112 seconds, Group B – p= 0.07). Success rate of all blocks was 100%. A significantly faster onset of sensory and motor block for all nerves separately was faster in Group B (p<0.05 in all instances). Nevertheless in most cases statistical significance was marginal. No complications were recorded.
Conclusions The use of SAFIRA®, a novel single operator controlled device, is comparable to the block performance with an assistant. It seems beneficial in terms of shorter procedure duration and onset time. More and larger studies are needed to confirm these results and examine the device’s safety features.
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