Maureen Gibbons

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Document Type

Major Paper


Zvart Onanian School of Nursing



Date of Original Version



According to Lakdizajiet al. (2012), 71% of cardiac surgery patients report moderate to severe postoperative pain. Optimal pain management can facilitate early mobilization, participation in respiratory hygiene, increased patient satisfaction, decreased length of ICU and hospital stay, risk of readmissions and long-term chronic pain syndrome (Jakobsen et al., 2020). Traditional cardiac surgery pain management relies on opioid-based pharmaceutical interventions, but recently there has been a resurgence in regional and selective anesthetic techniques. The use of regional anesthesia in conjunction with traditional pharmaceutical analgesia can be an effective way to manage postoperative acute pain resultant of the median sternotomy incision and vessel manipulation (Folino& Mahboobi, 2022). Non-neuraxial nerve blocks are peripheral blocks where the anesthesia is administered near the target nerve and is diffused along the nerve'™s mantle layer to the core (Folino& Mahboobi, 2022). Therefore, this systematic review aimed to answer the following question: Does the combined usage of regionally selective anesthesia and standard pharmaceutical analgesia provide a more effective method of improving cardiac surgery patient outcomes when compared to traditional pharmaceutical analgesia alone?

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