Describe toxicity of local anaesthetic agents.

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College Answer

Most questions lacked a systematic approach to the question and specific detail. The relationship between systemic toxicity (CNS and CVS) and plasma levels should be described. Many candidates did not clearly state that CNS toxicity occurs at lower plasma levels that CVS toxicity. Factors that affect toxicity (e.g. drug factors, patient factors, interactions) needed to be elaborated with some detail. Patient factors such as age, pregnancy, acidosis, hyperkalaemia, hepatic failure were often omitted. Finally, marks were also awarded for noting methaemoglobinaemia as possible toxicity and the existence of specific therapy (intralipid).

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