Since their clinical use was first demonstrated more than 120 years ago, local anesthetics
(LAs) have provided an alternative to general anesthesia that has proved bene-
ficial for both patients and practitioners. Refinements in the technical aspects of LA
administration and improved understanding of their side effects have increased the
safety and the scope of applications of these agents. Nevertheless, potential hazards
still accompany their use. LAs can injure muscle or neural tissue at the site of administration,
whereas systemic toxicity can profoundly derange the cardiovascular and
central nervous systems.