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Subcutaneous infiltration of local anesthetics

Author
Deborah C Hsu, MD, MEd
Section Editors
Anne M Stack, MD
Ron M Walls, MD, FRCPC, FAAEM
Stanley J Miller, MD
Deputy Editor
James F Wiley, II, MD, MPH

INTRODUCTION

The subcutaneous infiltration of local anesthetics for minor skin procedures (eg, wound repair, lumbar puncture, or insertion of vascular catheters) will be reviewed here.

Topical anesthetics in children, peripheral nerve blocks, and regional anesthesia are discussed separately:

(See "Topical anesthetics in children".)

(See "Overview of peripheral nerve blocks" and "Overview of anesthesia and anesthetic choices", section on 'Peripheral nerve block' and "Digital nerve block".)

ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY

The skin is made up of the epidermis and dermis. The subcutaneous layer lies beneath the dermis (figure 1). Direct infiltration of local anesthetic into the subcutaneous layer effectively blocks pain transmission from the free nerve endings located in the epidermal and dermal layers [1]. Intradermal injection is also effective but more painful than subcutaneous injection.  

                         

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Literature review current through: Nov 2016. | This topic last updated: Fri Dec 02 00:00:00 GMT+00:00 2016.
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