Surgical teams have performed their first regional anaesthetic procedure at Redcar Primary Care Hospital.
Utilising the hospital’s newly commissioned operating theatre, the hand service at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust performed Redcar Hospital’s first regional anaesthetic on 9 November, paving the way for a much wider range of procedures at the community site.
Using a regional anaesthetic – a nerve block given to a specific region of the body to provide numbness or pain relief for deeper operations where more extensive numbness is needed – means that strong painkillers and a general anaesthetic can usually be avoided.
This benefits both the patient and the hospital as any potential side effects are reduced so recovery time is quicker and people may be able to choose to have their procedure at a community site, closer to home.
“Some operations can be performed under a local anaesthetic, but for some operations you do need the whole arm to be numb,” said Emma Reay, consultant hand and wrist surgeon.
“Performing our first regional anaesthetic at Redcar Hospital marks a major development for the hand service at the trust.
“Up until now we were only able to offer a local anaesthetic service. With the introduction of regional analgesia we will be able to offer a much wider range of procedures for our patients at the Redcar site.”
Anaesthesia, day surgery and hand surgery teams have all worked together to bring regional anaesthesia to Redcar, enabling a greater variety of operations to be provided from the community hospital site.
These will include procedures to treat nerve compression in the hand and arm, Dupuytren’s contracture and arthritis of the hand and wrist.
“It has taken a lot of hard work and dedication from a lot of people to make this happen and I just want to thank them all,” said Emma.
“It was a fantastic feeling for the team to get the first procedure done.”