Exploring the role of regional anesthesia in the treatment of the burn injured patient: A narrative review of current literature

Cienwen J. Town, James Johnson, André Van Zundert, Haakan Strand

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: The review article was designed to assess the effectiveness of regional anesthesia, specifically peripheral nerve blocks, in the treatment of burn pain; with noting of clinical indications and contraindications for peripheral nerve block application, along with discussion of evidence-based analgesic strategies for providing improved, comprehensive burn pain management. 

Methods: A search of relevant literature was performed using CINAHL, PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science and SCOPUS with a publication date between January 2005 and December 2017. Results: The search yielded ten results that met criteria. Two randomized control trials (1, 2)(1, 2) were included, though they focused on analgesia for donor site pain only, one clinical trial, two case series, two retrospective audit, one burn protocol and two review articles. 

Discussion: Regional anesthesia techniques are an adjunct therapy currently used worldwide to improve patient pain outcomes and reduce the adverse effects associated with general anesthetic. Regional anesthesia presents a safe and effective intervention for acute pain resulting from burn acquired injury. This review of current literature supports the use of regional anesthesia as a treatment to manage pain associated with burn-related care procedures as an addition to multimodal pain treatment. To date there is limited evidence demonstrating the use of regional anesthesia in the burns' patient population. Additionally, there appear to be no particular risks to employing the technique of regional anesthesia in this group. Further prospective studies are required to provide information about the benefits and limitations of regional anesthesia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)368-374
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Journal of Pain
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes


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