How to administer lidocaine in wounds
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence & Practice Previous     Next

How to administer lidocaine in wounds

Jeanette Welsh Practice development and safeguarding lead, Unscheduled Care, Emergency Department, Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, Gloucester, England
Graham Rowe Practice development nurse, Emergency Department, Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, Gloucester, England

Rationale and key points

Before a wound can be cleaned and/or closed, the use of a local anaesthetic such as lidocaine is often required to enable the nurse to assess the wound thoroughly and plan the optimal method of repair. This article explains how to administer lidocaine safely and effectively, including how to infiltrate a wound with lidocaine before cleaning or suturing. There are potentially serious consequences associated with the use of local anaesthesia, but careful preparation will ensure patient safety and contribute towards a positive patient experience.

The nurse should have an understanding of how lidocaine functions, the speed at which it will take effect, and the duration of the mode of action.

The nurse should have knowledge and awareness of the risks associated with the use of lidocaine to ensure patient safety.

The nurse should prepare the equipment and the patient for the procedure.

Reflective activity

How to articles can help to update your practice and ensure it remains evidence-based. Apply this article to your practice. Reflect on and write a short account of:

How this article might improve your practice.

How you could use this information to educate your patients and colleagues on the appropriate technique for administering lidocaine in wounds.

Nursing Standard. 32, 4, 41-48. doi: 10.7748/ns.2017.e10872


Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 20 March 2017

Accepted: 22 August 2017

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