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February 1988

Efficacy of TAC Topical Anesthetic for Repair of Pediatric Lacerations

Am J Dis Child. 1988;142(2):203-205. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1988.02150020105040

• A prospective evaluation of 103 consecutive children who received TAC (tetracaine, epinephrine [adrenaline], cocaine) liquid topical anesthetic for the repair of their minor dermal lacerations was performed. A unique method of TAC application was used that consisted of applying the medication to the inner margins of the wound cavity and allowing it to stand for several minutes prior to the application of a TAC-saturated gauze pad to the wound surface. Of 670 sutures placed, 637 (95%) were done without eliciting pain. The TAC topical anesthetic was more than 95% effective in providing complete anesthesia for wounds located on the face and lip; it was equally efficacious in anesthetizing larger wounds (≥5 cm in length and/or ≥5 mm in depth). No adverse reactions resulted from the application of TAC. A single wound healing complication occurred in 103 patients. TAC is a safe, effective method for anesthetizing minor lacerations of the skin in children. Its painless method of application relieves patient discomfort and maximizes patient compliance during the repair procedure, both of which enhance the accurate approximation of lacerated tissue.

(AJDC 1988;142:203-205)