Lidocaine infusion as a rescue analgesic in the perioperative setting
C Clarke, I McConachie, R Banner
In the present case series, three patients for whom regional anesthesia may have been the optimum technique for controlling postoperative pain are discussed. However, due to prevailing circumstances, regional anesthesia could not be provided. An intravenous infusion of lidocaine at 4 mg/min was administered perioperatively as an alternative 'rescue' analgesic technique. This infusion rate, based on previous extensive pharmacokinetic studies, is widely considered to be safe. Postoperative pain was lower than expected for the type of surgery. Anecdotal experience suggests that hospital length of stay may also be reduced, with both patient and economic benefits.