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Ann Plast Surg. 1998 Oct;41(4):410-4.

Epinephrine in digital blocks: revisited.

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  • 1Division of Plastic Surgery, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston 77555-0724, USA.


Digital block anesthesia with epinephrine, ring technique, and digital tourniquet have been implicated in causing finger gangrene. An extensive review of the literature provided no case of finger gangrene attributed solely to the adjunctive use of epinephrine with lidocaine for digital block. By causing vasoconstriction, epinephrine complements the local analgesic by prolonging the duration of action and providing a temporary hemostatic effect. Epinephrine augmentation of digital block anesthesia was used in the treatment of 23 finger injuries without a complication.

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