Peribulbar block is used to obtain anaesthesia and akinesia of the eye by injecting a local anaesthetic around the musclecone. A patient scheduled for cataract surgery received peribulbar block with 6 mL of 2% lidocaine hydrochloride. Following the injection, confusion, hypotension and dilatation of the contralateral pupil rapidly progressed to loss of consciousness and respiratory arrest. The patient was intubated and mechanically ventilated for 30 min. The patient regained her consciousness, was extubated and transferred to the intensive care unit for further follow-up. Although brainstem anaesthesia because of peribulbar block is very rare, this procedure should be performed with complete monitorisation and resuscitation equipment.