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Efficacy and safety of supraclavicular and pectoralis nerve blocks as primary peri-procedural analgesia for cardiac electronic device implantation: A pilot study.

BACKGROUND: Cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIEDs) are routinely implanted using intravenous drugs for sedation. However, some patients are poor candidates for intravenous sedation.

OBJECTIVE: We present a case series demonstrating the safety and efficacy of a novel, ultrasound-guided nerve block technique that allows for pre-pectoral CIED implantation. The targets are the supraclavicular nerve (SCN) and pectoral nerve (PECS1).

METHODS: We enrolled 20 patients who were planned for new CIED implantation. Following US-localization of the SCN and PECS1, local anesthetic (LA) was instilled at least 30-60 min pre-procedure. Successful nerve block was determined if < 5 mL of intraprocedural LA was used, along with lack of sensation with skin and deep tissue pinprick. Optional sedation was offered to patients' pre-procedure if discomfort was reported.

RESULTS: Seventeen patients (85%) had a successful periprocedural nerve block, with only three patients exceeding 5 mL of LA. SCN and PECS1 success occurred in 19 (95%) and 18 (90%) patients, respectively. The overall success of nerve block by fulfilling all the criteria was demonstrated in 17 out of 20 patients (85%). Patients who reported no pain (VAS score = 0) were distributed as follows: 13 patients (65%) in the immediate post-procedure interval, 18 patients (90%) at the 1 h post-implant interval, and 14 patients (70%) at the 24 h post- implant interval. The median cumulative VAS score was 0 (IQR = 0 - 1). There were no reported significant adverse effects.

CONCLUSION: SCN and PECS1 nerve blocks are safe and effective for patients undergoing CIED implantation to minimize or eliminate the use of intravenous sedation.

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