Incidence of the “Adrenaline Rush” and Vasovagal Response with Local Anesthetic Injection

Greene, Bradley H. C. and Lalonde, Donald H. and Seal, Shane K. F. (2021) Incidence of the “Adrenaline Rush” and Vasovagal Response with Local Anesthetic Injection. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery - Global Open, 9 (6). ISSN 2169-7574

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Background: Many patients feel an “adrenaline rush” or a vasovagal reaction when injected with lidocaine and epinephrine during wide awake surgery. The incidence of these reactions is not well documented in the literature. Methods: In total, 387 patients were prospectively injected with lidocaine and epinephrine for minor procedures without sedation between July 1, 2019 and November 1, 2020. A concentration of epinephrine with 1:100,000 in 2% lidocaine was injected, with most patients getting less than 20 mL of volume. Results: Eight (2.2%) of the patients had adrenaline rush symptoms, which included nervousness, anxiety, tremors, shaky feelings, flushing, diaphoresis, light-headedness, tingling, and “heart racing.” Seven patients (1.8%) experienced vasovagal responses, which included nausea, a feeling of being unwell, faint, or lightheaded, or had circumoral pallor. Conclusions: Patients run a low risk of feeling an adrenaline rush or vasovagal reaction when injected with lidocaine and epinephrine. Routinely advising patients that the adrenaline rush can happen, and that this is not an allergic reaction can be helpful to allay fear of the unknown and to prevent false allergy beliefs. Injecting patients lying down may decrease the incidence of vasovagal reactions by increasing cerebral blood flow with the advantage of gravity.

Item Type: Article
Item ID: 15372
Additional Information: Memorial University Open Access Author's Fund
Department(s): Medicine, Faculty of
Date: 24 June 2021
Date Type: Publication
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
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