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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Ultrasound-guided Erector Spinae Plane Block in Emergency Department for Abdominal Malignancy Pain: A Case Report


Introduction: Severe breakthrough pain is a common occurrence in patients with cancer and is responsible for thousands of emergency department (ED) visits each year. While opioids are the current mainstay of treatment, they have multiple limitations including inadequate control for a quarter of patients with cancer. The ultrasound-guided erector spinae plane block (ESPB) has been used in the ED to effectively treat pain for pathologies such as acute pancreatitis, since it provides somatic and visceral analgesia.

Case Report: In this case report we describe the use of an ESPB to treat breakthrough pain safely and effectively in a 54-year-old female with a history of metastatic colon cancer.

Conclusion: The ESPB may have utility in addressing well documented disparities in pain treatment in the ED, but additional research is needed to understand side effects, duration of pain control, and clinical outcomes of the ESPB.

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