Local anaesthetic agents can provide excellent pain relief when administered by continuous infusion or by intermittent bolus injection. Local anaesthetic infusions can aid early mobilisation in patients who have had lower limb surgery.

Dedicated infusion devices are used to deliver local anaesthetic infusions within Ashford and St Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and will deliver a continuous rate of local anaesthetic. The nature of the device means that a fixed rate infusion will be provided for the duration of the infusion. Some devices can allow the patient to self-administer a set bolus of local anaesthetic.

The aim of these guidelines is to ensure the safe nursing care of any patients receiving:

  • Continuous infusions of local anaesthetics including intra-articular infusions and/or subcutaneous infusions
  • ‘One shot’ regional nerve blocks such as femoral nerve, fascia iliaca or interscalene brachial plexus blocks (with no catheter left in situ)
  • Fascia iliaca blocks requiring intermittent bolus injections via an indwelling catheter



For the management of acute pain pre operatively e.g. for patients who have a fractured neck of femur or other lower limb fractures, or post operatively following surgery. Continuous infusions of a local anaesthetic agent must only be administered in clinical areas where staff have received training in relation to the care of this method of analgesia.


Policy Details

Download: PDF version
Compiled by: Harriet Barker, Lead Nurse Pain Service
Ratified by: Drugs and Therapeutics Committee
Date Ratified: May 2018
Date Issued: June 2018
Review Date: May 2021
Target Audience: All staff caring for patients who have local anaesthetic continuous infusions, or who have had ‘one shot’ local anaesthetic agents, or who are receiving boluses of local anaesthetic agents via an indwelling catheter.
Contact name: Harriet Barker, Lead Nurse Pain Service


See also:

  • Protocol for post-operative observations in adult inpatient areas
  • Local anaesthetic observations chart
  • Competency for the injection of local anaesthetic into a fascia iliaca block catheter
  • Medicines Management Policy