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Pain Research and Management
Volume 13, Issue 5, Pages 421-423
Case Report

Lidocaine Infusion as a Rescue Analgesic in the Perioperative Setting

C Clarke, I McConachie, and R Banner

Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, St Joseph’s Health Care, London, Ontario, Canada

Copyright © 2008 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In the present case series, three patients for whom regional anesthesia may have been the optimum technique for controlling postoperative pain are discussed. However, due to prevailing circumstances, regional anesthesia could not be provided. An intravenous infusion of lidocaine at 4 mg/min was administered perioperatively as an alternative ‘rescue’ analgesic technique. This infusion rate, based on previous extensive pharmacokinetic studies, is widely considered to be safe. Postoperative pain was lower than expected for the type of surgery. Anecdotal experience suggests that hospital length of stay may also be reduced, with both patient and economic benefits.