Complications of regional anaesthesia

Alasdair Taylor, Calum RK Grant

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


    Complications of regional anaesthesia can be divided into those specific to central neuraxial blockade, those specific to peripheral nerve blockade, and those that pertain to both. Fortunately, severe complications, namely spinal cord damage, vertebral cord haematoma and epidural abscess, are rare. Here we have given an overview of these complications, with reference to incidences available following the Third National Audit Project of the Royal College of Anaesthetists. A thorough knowledge of anatomy and pharmacology, and a meticulous, unhurried technique are key to reducing the risk of such complications. When considering the use of a regional anaesthetic technique, the risks and benefits for the individual patient should be assessed on a case-by-case basis, and set against the risks and benefits of alternatives.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)146-150
    Number of pages5
    JournalAnaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine
    Issue number3
    Early online date26 Jan 2022
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


    • Central neuraxial block
    • complications
    • consent
    • nerve damage
    • peripheral nerve block
    • regional anaesthesia

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
    • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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