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Anaesthesist. 2013 Jun;62(6):460-3. doi: 10.1007/s00101-013-2188-4. Epub 2013 Jun 5.

[Ultrasound-guided thoracic paravertebral block for acute thoracic trauma: continuous analgesia after high speed injury].

[Article in German]

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  • 1Abteilung für Anästhesie und Intensivmedizin, Berufsgenossenschaftliche Unfallklinik, Prof.-Küntscher-Str. 8, 82418 Murnau, Deutschland.


Paravertebral blocks have experienced a renaissance because ultrasound-guidance is becoming common practice. The method is often presented as an alternative to thoracic epidural anaesthesia, mainly in the field of elective thoracic surgery. It is also propagated as an opioid-saving analgesic procedure in breast tumor surgery. In this case report it was successfully used as a continuous intervention for acute pain therapy of a severe injury of the left thorax. A transverse probe position in the fifth intercostal space was combined with an in-plane needle technique from lateral to medial. An ultrasound-enhanced needle positioning was used due to the steep angle of puncture. The absolute limit for medial needle advancement is the acoustic shadow of the transverse process. A catheter was placed 2 cm beyond the needle tip and its correct position was verified by hydrolocation. The excellent and continuous analgesia enabled non-invasive patient ventilation to be achieved directly after extubation and was continued for 6 days.

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