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The treatment of surgical patients who are confirmed or suspected of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a challenge for all anesthesiologists. The safety of both patients and healthcare workers should be taken into consideration when performing anesthesia management for patients with COVID-19. General anesthesia requiring airway intervention may exacerbate COVID-19 pneumonia, and aerosol generation during airway intervention risks COVID-19 transmission to medical staff. However, regional anesthesia is not an aerosol-generating procedure. The neuraxial anesthesia may have little adverse influence on clinical outcomes in patients with COVID-19 after reviewing previous case reports. Regional anesthesia may have some advantages over general anesthesia for this group of patients, but unplanned conversion to general anesthesia during surgery is not preferred. Thus, careful consideration should be given to ensure that the surgery is performed entirely under regional anesthesia. The use of ultrasound guidance and the performance by an experienced physician may reduce the incidence of failed block and complications. The use of long-acting local anesthetic prolongs the anesthetic effect of regional anesthesia. Besides, a safe and sufficient dose of local anesthetic should be used.


Kunihisa Hotta. Regional anesthesia in the time of COVID-19: a minireview. Journal of anesthesia. 2021 Jun;35(3):341-344

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PMID: 32712704

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