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Phrenic nerve block with ultrasound-guidance for treatment of hiccups: a case report

Author(s): Kuusniemi Kristiina | Pyylampi Ville

Journal: Journal of Medical Case Reports
ISSN 1752-1947

Volume: 5;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 493;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Abstract Introduction Persistent hiccups can be more than a simple and short-lived nuisance and therefore sometimes call for serious consideration. Hiccupping episodes that last only a few minutes may be annoying, but persistent hiccups may initiate many major complications. Case presentation A 72-year-old Caucasian man with spinal stenosis presented for L4-5 laminectomy under spinal anesthesia. The surgery and anesthesia, as well as the perioperative period, passed without any incident, except for persistent postoperative hiccups not responding to conservative and pharmacological treatment. Hiccups resulted in a prolonged hospital stay as they lasted until the seventh postoperative day. On that day, a right-sided ultrasound-guided phrenic nerve block with 5 ml of bupivacaine 5 mg/ml with epinephrine was performed successfully with a single-injection technique. Ten minutes after the procedure the hiccups vanished and a partial sensomotoric block of his right shoulder developed. No adverse effect occurred; our patient could be discharged on the same day and the hiccups did not return. Conclusion Ultrasound provides us with non-invasive information regarding anatomy and allows anesthesiologists to visualize needle insertion, to identify the exact location of the injected solution and to avoid such structures as arteries or veins. As such, this method should be actively utilized. In cases where both pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments prove to be ineffective when treating persistent hiccups, a single-shot ultrasound-guided technique should be considered before the patient becomes exhausted.

Tango Jona
Tangokurs Rapperswil-Jona

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