Postsurgical pain usually results in some complications in the patients. This study has tried to investigate the effects of parasternal single injection of bupivacaine on postoperative pulmonary and pain consequences in patients after open heart surgery.
In a prospective double blind clinical study, 100 consenting patients undergoing elective open heart surgery were randomized into two groups. In case group, bupivacaine was injected at both sides of sternum, immediately before sternal closure. In the control group, no intervention was performed. Then, the patients were investigated regarding intubation period, length of ICU stay, arterial blood gas (ABG) parameters, morphine requirement, and their severity of postoperative pain using a visual analogue scale (VAS) device.
No differences were found between the two groups regarding to age, sex, pump time, operation time, and body mass index and preoperative cardiac ejection fraction. Mean intubation length in case group was much shorter than that in control group. Mean PaO2 in case group was lower in different checking times in postoperative period. The patients in the case group needed less morphine compared to those in the control group during the 24-hour observation period in the ICU. Finally, mean VAS scores of pain in case group were significantly lower than those in control group at 6, 12, and 24 hours postoperatively.
Patients’ pain relief by parasternal single injection of bupivacaine in early postoperative period can facilitate earlier ventilator weaning and tracheal extubation after open heart surgery as well as achieving lower pain scores and narcotic requirements.