n CME : Your SA Journal of CPD - Local anaesthetic agent systemic toxicity : more about... anaesthetics

Volume 30, Issue 6
  • ISSN : 0256-2170



The introduction of cocaine in 1884 as a local anaesthetic agent started an entire new era in medicine. Since then, the use of local anaesthetic agents has increased as an important part of medicine. Local anaesthesia is widely and regularly used by general practitioners and specialists, but a recent survey in a UK hospital showed that among non-anaesthetists there is a poor understanding of local anaesthesia toxicity and treatment. Local anaesthetic agent systemic toxicity occurs in about 1 in every 1 000 peripheral nerve blocks and, although it is an infrequent complication, it is potentially fatal.

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