While the use of ultrasound techniques started to be applied in medicine in the 1940s, it was not really until the 1990s that ultrasound for regional anesthesia (RA) was seriously explored as a technique. Since then, ultrasound technology has undergone advancements at a significant pace. This has facilitated ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia (UGRA) as a technique being widely adopted.
UGRA provides several studied and documented benefits for anesthesiologists practicing RA. It enables clinicians in real-time, for example, to identify surrounding anatomy and identify physiological landmarks to aid needle placement around target nerves, helping to avoid intra-neural injection. This approach also allows visualization of the needle and spread of the injectate, helping anesthesiologists to ensure an adequate spread of local anesthetic to achieve a successful block using reduced volumes of anesthetic, further reducing any associated risks of system toxicity for patients.
Having full confidence in the visual insights provided by ultrasound is key to realizing the full benefits offered by UGRA. The SONIMAGE® HS2 Compact Ultrasound System with integrated Simple Needle Visualization (SNV®) technology from Konica Minolta Healthcare provides anesthesiologists with the very latest in visual confidence during regional anesthesia.
The SNV software incorporates an advanced algorithm that utilizes both the in-plane and out-of-plane methods to improve needle visibility, especially in steep angle approaches. Auto settings take the guesswork out of where to steer the ultrasound beam and program prompts help to determine the proper level of the needle visualization sensitivity depending on the type of tissue. The SNV feature highlights the needle blue, increasing your accuracy in needle placement, making it the ideal solution for guided injections.
To further enhance confidence during peripheral nerve block procedures, anesthesiologists can now also pair the SONIMAGE HS2 System with SAFIRA™, a revolutionary new technology which promotes safer injection during regional anesthesia.
SAFIRA™ enables an anesthesiologist to control the whole RA injection themselves. Using the foot pedal operator, clinicians control aspiration and injection, and the SAFIRA™ driver ensures a consistent and steady delivery of local anesthetic at 0.5mls per second. Coupled with the visual insights from ultrasound, this steady delivery of injectate means the clinician can see the needle tip and the spread of injectate to ensure a comprehensive nerve block.
Furthermore, the SAFIRA™ device monitors pressure and is calibrated to limit injection pressure to less than 20psi by automatically stopping, preventing injection, and reducing the risk of nerve injury. A warning light on the driver prompts the anesthesiologist to make the necessary checks and adjustments, such as needle placement, before they can reset the device and continue the block.
Together, the SONIMAGE® HS2 and SAFIRA™ combine to promote safer solutions and technological innovations to advance better outcomes in regional anesthesia for both professionals and their patients.