Buffered versus plain lidocaine as a local anesthetic for simple laceration repair

Joel M. Bartfield, Paul Gennis, Joseph Barbera, Brenda Breuer, E. John Gallagher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


Study objective: Buffered lidocaine was compared with plain lidocaine as a local anesthetic for simple lacerations. Design: Randomized, double-blind, prospective clinical trial. Setting: Urban emergency department. Type of participants: Ninety-one adult patients with simple linear lacerations were enrolled. Patients with allergy to lidocaine and patients with an abnormal mental status were excluded. Interventions: Each wound edge was anesthetized with either plain or buffered lidocaine using a randomized, double-blind protocol. The pain of infiltration was measured with a previously validated visual analog pain scale. Measurements and main results: Analysis of pooled data and paired data (using patients as their own controls) revealed that infiltrating buffered lidocaine was significantly less painful than plain lidocaine (P = .03 and P = .02, respectively). There was no significant difference in the anesthetic effectiveness of the two agents during suturing. Conclusion: Buffered lidocaine is preferable to plain lidocaine as a local anesthetic agent for the repair of simple lacerations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1387-1389
Number of pages3
JournalAnnals of emergency medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1990


  • lidocaine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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