Investigators Experiment with Differing Amounts of Anesthetic to Provide Pain Control during Shoulder Surgery and Reduce Chances for Respiratory Complications

Hemidiaphragmatic paresis, or HDP, is a condition in which one side of the diaphragm is weakened, resulting in shortness of breath and reduced respiratory function. It can occur when a patient is given regional anesthesia for shoulder surgery, using the supraclavicular nerve block. Researchers are trying to determine the right amount of anesthesia to use in the supraclavicular block so that the block still works but the chances of developing HDP are low.

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Researchers Looking for the Best Way to Keep Patients Safe During Anesthesia for Shoulder Surgery

Interscalene blocks are a type of regional anesthesia used to relieve pain during and after shoulder surgery. This procedure can lead to numbing of the phrenic nerve as well, however, which can lead to pulmonary complications. Researchers at Stanford University are experimenting with different amounts of saline that can help reverse the phrenic nerve blockade while still maintaining analgesic effect.

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