A variety of orthopedic, general medicine and pain medicine procedures require anesthesia. This can be performed locally, regionally or systemically. As the art and science of anesthesia and the rise of pain medicine as a separate specialty has grown, regional anesthesia use has skyrocketed. The procedure is not “simple”, by any means. However, properly trained providers can help patients avoid the risks of general anesthesia.

Here on iMedicalApps we previously reviewed several apps from the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Management (ASRA) including ASRA Coags Regional. We have also reviewed a number of injection apps including Art of Injection and MSK Injections as well as numerous procedure apps such as the excellent Procedures Consult (now only available as a web app for subscribers).

But what about an app that assists with the performance of common regional anesthesia procedures? The ASRA has a trifecta of apps mentioned above, but none describe the process of performing the actual procedures. So enter Regional Anesthesia Assistant by Dr Guy Weinberg a practicing anesthesiologist at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago. He is a big proponent of the use of lipid emulsion therapy (LipidRescue) for local anesthetic systemic toxicity (LAST). In the latest guidelines from the ASRA, including their app ASRA LAST, lipid emulsion therapy is now well recognized as an adjunctive antidote for LAST.

The app builds and expands Dr Weinberg’s expertise on LipidRescue by providing a guide of the common regional anesthesia scenarios. The app ensures providers are properly oriented to the patient, come armed with the proper medications, needs, lipid emulsion, etc. It includes quality images of patient and provider orientation, anatomy and ultrasound images for over six different regional blocks from the interscalene to the popliteal.

Clinical Scenario

You are an anesthesia resident rotating in your hospital’s pain clinic. Your first patient tomorrow is going to require an infraclavicular nerve block. What do you need for that procedure? Where do you stand relative to the patient? What is the ultrasound needle guided route for this procedure? Let’s take a look at Regional Pain Assistant in action.

Video Review

Evidence based medicine

The app includes numerous quality images and still animations of six common regional pain blocks. The app provides “checklists” for the anesthesia provider/team to ensure success including the evidence based lipid emulsion treatment for LAST. The app is developed by a recognized expert in LipdRescue and practicing anesthesiologist.

What providers would benefit from this App?

Anesthesiologists, anesthesia residents, pain management providers, CRNAs, OR personnel, any provider who may be required to perform regional blocks.

regional anesthesia app

Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the official policy of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.

  • Price
    • $4.99
    • Contains step by step guide for common regional blocks.
    • Uses quality images and still animation for anatomy and ultrasound guidance.
    • Provides checklists of equipment for each procedure.
  • Dislikes
    • No embedded videos or full animations of procedures.
    • No hyperlinks for references included in app–must go to lipidrescue.org.
    • Not much information about the procedures themselves–indications/contraindications, etc.
    • Not available for iPhone.
  • Overall

    A simple but elegantly designed app for pain medicine and anesthesia providers who perform regional pain blocks. The app efficiently walks providers through each procedure with quality images and animations along with procedure checklists.

  • Overall Score
  • User Interface

    Simple, efficient, step by step interface for each of the six blocks included.

  • Multimedia Usage

    The app contains many quality pictures and still animations, but would benefit from embedded videos, full animations and more materials from the lipidrescue.org site built into the app.

  • Price

    Reasonably priced when you consider total package of materials.

  • Real World Applicability

    A simple app that providers who perform regional pain blocks should certainly consider.

  • Device Used For Review

    iPhone 6S running iOS 9.2

  • Available for DownloadAndroidiPhoneiPad