Volume 10, No. 4 • Winter 1995

New ASA Videotape Focuses on Perioperative Peripheral Nerve Injury

Perioperative Peripheral Nerve Injury, ASA Videotape #24 [Glaxo Wellcome #18] is ready for distribution by Glaxo Wellcome representatives to all anesthesia departments and groups.

This videotape directs the attention of the anesthesiologist to the ever-present risk of perioperative peripheral nerve injury during anesthesia and surgery. Data are reviewed from the ASA Closed Claims Project regarding the incidence of claims related to peripheral nerve injury; specifically, damage to the ulnar nerve brachial plexus and lumbosacral nerve roots.

Potential causes and predisposing factors attendant to perioperative nerve injury are considered, and advice is given on recognizing these potential problems at the preop interview. Factors beyond the control of the anesthesiologist, such as injury consequent to median sternotomy, are acknowledged.

Recommendations are made by the consultant experts for proper positioning and padding of the patient’s extremities in hopes of minimizing the likelihood of nerve damage, when possible. Consultant anesthesiologists for this program include Robert K. Stoelting, M.D., Casey D. Blitt, M.D., and Mark A. Warner, M.D.