Towards evidence based emergency medicine: best BETs from the Manchester Royal Infirmary. BET 1: Topical lignocaine patches in traumatic rib fractures

Emerg Med J. 2015 Apr;32(4):333-4. doi: 10.1136/emermed-2015-204681.1.


A shortcut review was carried out to establish whether topical lignocaine patches (LP) are effective for rib fractures. 48 papers were found of which 2 presented the best evidence to answer the clinical question. The author, date and country of publication, patient group studied, study type, relevant outcomes, results and study weaknesses of these best papers are tabulated. The clinical bottom line is that there is currently no evidence to support the use of topical LP to improve pain control and reduce opiate analgesic use, in patients with traumatic rib fractures.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adult
  • Anesthetics, Local / administration & dosage*
  • Evidence-Based Emergency Medicine*
  • Humans
  • Lidocaine / administration & dosage*
  • Pain Management / methods*
  • Rib Fractures*


  • Anesthetics, Local
  • Lidocaine