Bier's block; 100 years old and still going strong!

S. Brill, W. Middleton, G. Brill, A. Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


In August 1908 Karl August Bier, Professor of Surgery in Berlin, described a new method of producing analgesia of a limb which he named 'vein anesthesia'. Bier first presented his new method of intravenous regional anesthesia (IVRA) at the 37th Congress of the German Surgical Society on 22 April, 1908, only 10 years after his significant communication on spinal anesthesia (1). His method, which now bears his name, consisted of occluding the circulation in a segment of the arm with two tourniquets and then injecting a dilute local anesthetic through a venous cut-down in the isolated segment. Bier had the good fortune to use procaine, the first safe injectable local anesthetic that had been synthesized by Einhorn in 1904.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-122
Number of pages6
JournalActa Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Bier block
  • History
  • IVRA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Bier's block; 100 years old and still going strong!'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this