Anesthesia Of The Brachial Plexus
Brachial plexus blocks are regional anesthesia techniques that are sometimes employed as an alternative to general anesthesia for surgery of the shoulder, arm, forearm, wrist and hand. These techniques involve the injection of local anesthetic agents in close proximity to the brachial plexus, temporarily blocking the sensation and ability to move the upper extremity. The subject can remain awake during the ensuing surgical procedure, or s/he can be sedated or even fully anesthetized if necessary.
There are several techniques for blocking the nerves of the brachial plexus. These techniques are classified by the level at which the needle or catheter is inserted for injecting the local anesthetic — interscalene block on the neck, supraclavicular block immediately above the clavicle, infraclavicular block below the clavicle and axillary block in the axilla (armpit).
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