Regional anesthesia is the technique for delivering the anesthetic agent into a particular nerve or group of nerves to block the transmission. Unlike general anesthesia, it has no impact on the consciousness of the patients. The advantages of regional anesthesia over general anesthesia include reduced doses, rapid recovery, no need for airway manipulation, and earlier initiation of physical therapy for improving movement.
Some types of peripheral nerve blocks include scalp blocks, lower extremity blocks, upper extremity blocks, abdominal nerve blocks, thoracic nerve blocks, cervical plexus blocks, paracervical blocks, and pudendal blocks.
Regional anesthesia may be used before the surgical procedures and to relieve certain types of pain, such as labor pain. The contraindications for this procedure include allergy to anesthetic drugs, a history of coagulopathies, infection at the site of injection, and a history of neurological deficit.
The peripheral nerve block aims to place the anesthetic agent near the nerve. The anesthesiologists may locate the nerve with one or more identification methods. A nerve stimulator is a device used to locate a specific nerve. The device delivers an electric current to the tip of the needle that stimulates the nerve. If the needle is close to the nerve, the response of the muscle is evaluated. Ultrasound guidance may also help locate the nerve, improving the block's success rate. The type of drug used depends on the degree of motor blockage duration, onset of action, and toxicity.