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Hospital Healthcare Europe

Hand-held ultrasound speeds nerve blocks


30 October, 2007  

Performing nerve blocks has been speeded up with a reduction at a UK hospital, while complications have been reduced, by using hand-held ultrasound guidance.

Dr Chandra Bhimarasetty, consultant anaesthetist at Birmingham’s Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, explained: “We mainly use our system for venous access and nerve blocks using a high-resolution transducer.”

The MicroMaxx system hand-carried ultrasound system is made by US-based company SonoSite.

Dr Bhmimarasetty (pictured with the equipment) added: “Performing nerve blocks is much quicker using ultrasound guidance, and gives us greater confidence and fewer complications.

“We also use the system for the diagnosis of conditions like pleural effusion, pneumothorax and persistence of fluid in the lung after anterior thoracic surgery, when we tap the fluid under ultrasound guidance.”

Dr Bhimarasetty continued: “It is essential that our ultrasound system is robust and mobile, because we have ten theatres with eight to ten consultants. It is compact, simple to use, has good image quality and it boots up very quickly.

“Using its on-board memory, we can log in each patient and save images for later viewing when necessary.”

SonoSite