Erector spinae plane (ESP) block

For abdominal e.g laparotomy or thoracic dermatomes e.g. thoracotomy, rib fractures

Alternative to epidural

Patient awake – sitting or prone

Identify midline (in transverse plane)

Block at level of:

  • T7 level for abdominal cover, even rooftop
  • T5 for thoracic cover (T2 – T9)

Scan laterally so transverse process (TP) in in middle of screen.

Rotate probe vertically to para-sagital plane

Identify layers of subcutaneous tissue, trapezius, (+/- rhomboid), erector spinae (ES)- with articulates with transverse processes

Local anaesthetic at superior entry point. Deep infiltration to level of muscle.

Use Tuohy needle or regional catheter pack needle, in plane approach

Access ESP below ES muscle, adjacent to TP. Can hit it (original description) but more painful. Create space with saline.

Then threat catheter. Leave at least 10cm in the space. Load with 20ml of 0.375% l-bupivicaine to each side.

Then run infusion 0.25% l-bupivicaine at 10ml per hour (split between both sides).

–  NG @ LGH

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