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Reg Anesth Pain Med. 2012 Jan-Feb;37(1):8-15. doi: 10.1097/AAP.0b013e31823d825a.

ASRA checklist improves trainee performance during a simulated episode of local anesthetic systemic toxicity.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA, USA.



Severe local anesthetic systemic toxicity (LAST) is a rare event, the management of which might best be learned using high-fidelity simulation. In its 2010 Practice Advisory, the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine (ASRA) created a medical checklist to aid in the management of LAST. We hypothesized that trainees provided with this checklist would manage a simulated episode of LAST more effectively than those without it. A secondary aim of the study was to assess the ASRA Checklist's usability and readability.


Trainees undergoing a simulated LAST event were randomized to the checklist group (n = 12) or the no-checklist group (n = 13). Our primary outcome was the number of medical management tasks completed correctly. Secondary outcomes included assessment of the anesthesiologists' nontechnical skills and posttest performance.


Trainees receiving the checklist demonstrated superior medical management of the simulated LAST event: the checklist group correctly performed 16.0 (2.6) tasks versus the no-checklist group's 8.8 (3.0) tasks (mean [SD], P < 0.001). The checklist group had higher decision making scores on the anesthesiologists' nontechnical skills assessment (5.2 [1.8] versus 4.0 [1.35] summed rater score, P = 0.037) and had higher knowledge retention 2 months later (P = 0.031). Of those trainees randomized to receive the checklist, 7 of 12 used it fully (versus partially), which was reflected in higher medical and nontechnical performance scores.


Use of the ASRA Checklist significantly improved the trainees' medical management and nontechnical performance during a simulated episode of severe LAST. Partial use of the checklist correlated with lower overall performance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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