Ethiopian Journal of Health Sciences

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Brainstem Anesthesia after Retrobulbar Block: A Case Report and Review of Literature

Kumale Tolesa, Girum W. Gebreal


BACKGROUND: Retro-bulbar anesthesia is one of the most common regional blocks used for intraocular surgeries. Complications associated with regional blocks may be limited to the eye or may be systemic.
CASE REPORT: After a retro-bulbar block for glaucoma surgery, a 60-year-old man developed loss of consciousness, apnea with hypotension and bradycardia-features of brainstem anesthesia. We present the clinical features, treatment and comments on how to prevent the problem as well as a review of the literature on reported cases.
CONCLUSION: Although it is rare, treating physicians should be aware of the potentially lethal consequences of retro-bulbar block, understand measures to reduce the risks and early recognition and treatment. Facilities where ophthalmic surgeries are performed under local anesthesia should be properly equipped and staffed for advanced resuscitation.

KEY WORDS: Retrobulbar block, brainstem aneasthesia, intraocular surgery, lidocaine
AJOL African Journals Online