Study objective: To compare the duration of anesthesia experienced with lidocaine, epinephrine, and tetracaine (LET) solution and that with tetracaine, epinephrine (Adrenalin), and cocaine (TAC) solution during suturing of uncomplicated lacerations on the face or scalp.
Design: Double-blind, randomized, controlled trial.
Setting: The emergency department of a university-affiliated private children's hospital.
Participants: One hundred seventy-one children with lacerations on the face and scalp requiring suturing.
Interventions: After standard application of the anesthetic solution, patients were assessed for signs of discomfort before and during laceration repair. Duration of anesthesia during laceration repair was determined on the basis of the length of time after removal of the anesthetic solution to the first sign(s) of discomfort that required additional anesthesia.
Results: There was no statistical difference between TAC and LET in adequacy of anesthesia before suturing or in duration of anesthesia during suturing.
Conclusion: LET is an effective alternative to TAC for topical anesthesia during suturing of uncomplicated lacerations on the face and scalp in children.