Sterility Protocols During Regional Anaesthesia: An AORA Initiative

Vol 2 | Issue 1 | January-June 2021 | Page 05-12 | Rammurthy Kulkarni, Amjad Maniar, Neha Singh, Vrushali Ponde, Kapil Gupta, Mohammad Azam Danish, Ritesh Roy, Archana Areti

Authors: Rammurthy Kulkarni [1], Amjad Maniar [1], Neha Singh [6], Vrushali Ponde [4], Kapil Gupta [3], Mohammad Azam Danish [5], Ritesh Roy [2], Archana Areti [7]

[1] Department of Anaesthesia, Axon Anaesthesia Associates, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.
[2] Department of Anaesthesia, AIIMS, Bhubhaneshwar, Odisha, India.
[3] Director Child Anaesthesia Services, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.
[4] Department of Anaesthesia, Vardhaman Mahavir Medical College & Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi, India.
[5] Department of Anaesthesia, B. M. Jain Hospital, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.
[6] Associate Clinical Director and HOD, Care Hospitals, Bhubaneshwar, Odisha, India.
[7] Department of Anaesthesia, Mahatma Gandhi Medical College Research Institute Puducherry, India.

Address of Correspondence
Dr. Vrushali Ponde, Director Child Anaesthesia Services, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.


The frequency of infection following peripheral nerve block (PNB) is not very clear. The major reason for the paucity of literature is under-reporting of infectious complications. Though rare, the infectious complications associated with peripheral nerve blocks can be devastating and occasionally fatal.1 One case of necrotising fasciitis following an axillary approach to brachial plexus blockade for carpal tunnel release has been reported where the PNB was directly attributed to the infection. With the increase in the number of peripheral nerve block procedures being performed (both single injection and continuous techniques), it is expected that the infectious complication rate may also increase.
There is no uniform consensus amongst anaesthesiologists across the globe regarding the appropriate sterile technique that should be practised during the administration of regional anaesthesia. In a UK and Ireland based survey of obstetric anaesthesiologists, only half of the responders wore a face mask for both neuraxial (spinal and epidural) techniques. One-third of those who did not wear a mask believed that the mask actually increased the risk of infection.2 It can be easily assumed that a similar attitude is present while performing PNBs.
The aseptic chain starts right from hand washing and ends after the block needle has been taken out from the patient’s body (in a single injection technique) or till the perineural catheter is completely removed (in a continuous technique). Any breach in this chain may increase the chances of introducing infection.


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How to Cite this Article: Kulkarni R, Maniar A, Singh N, Ponde V, Gupta K, Danish MA, Roy R, Areti A | Sterility Protocols During Regional Anaesthesia: An AORA Initiative | International Journal of Regional Anaesthesia | January-June 2021; 2(1): 05-12.

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