Background: In 2010-11 approximately 968 hip fracture patients presented to emergency departments in the Greater Toronto Local Health Integration Network (GTA-LHIN). Optimal pain management is a frequently overlooked aspect of hip fracture patient care, which may contribute to patient outcomes. Although recommendations have been published, there is currently not a standardized approach to the analgesic management of pain in the hip fracture patient. Nerve blocks, including the fascia iliaca compartment block (FICB), are more effective than traditional opioid analgesics in reducing pain after hip fracture. Research suggests that analgesia via nerve blockade is best initiated early, upon arrival to the emergency department. Emergency physicians are trained in ultrasound, and do utilize regional anaesthesia; however, the frequency of block utilization and techniques used for block insertion are unknown. We sought to undertake the first survey of Emergency Department (ED) staff and resident physicians across the GTA-LHIN, looking at the current ED practice of nerve block analgesia in hip fracture patients.
Purpose: The primary aim was to determine the prevalence and range of techniques utilized. The secondary aims were to determine the extent of training in nerve block insertion techniques, to gauge opinion on the most important objectives for future training courses, and to seek an understanding of the barriers to establishing a standardized approach for nerve block utilization in hip fracture patients.
Conclusions: This data will be used to develop a multidisciplinary training program specifically for use by ED physicians. ED physicians and anesthesiologists will collaborate to standardize nerve block insertion techniques and develop an optimal analgesic management plan of hip fracture patients at Sunnybrook Hospital.
Keywords: emergency department; fascia iliaca; hip fracture; nerve block; regional anaesthesia; survey.