How to relieve pain and distress during venipuncture



Pain management for needle-related procedures is poor in Japan. In many countries the use of lidocaine/prilocaine cream for the relief of pain associated with venipuncture has been approved. In children, a psychological approach has also been shown to be effective in reducing pain with venipuncture.

We developed a multidisciplinary procedure that combines a cream (2.5% lidocaine and 2.5% prilocaine) and pharmacological approaches such as preparation, education, positioning and distraction. We evaluated the feasibility and acceptability of the procedure for young children. Among 132 pediatric participants, 58.3% did not cry during venipuncture. According to caregiver questionnaire, 71.9% felt that the multidisciplinary procedure eliminated the fear of needle-related procedures in the children; 90.9% were satisfied with it and 75.8% thought it should be applied to all children undergoing venipuncture. The present results suggest that the multidisciplinary procedure is feasible, acceptable and suitable for use in children undergoing venipuncture.


Yamamoto-Hanada, K., Futamura, M., Kitazawa, H., Ohya, Y., Kobayashi, F., Kusuda, T., Sanefuji, M., Oda, M., Mitsubuchi, H., Shibata, E., Tsuji, M., Kayama, F., Nakano, Y., Suda, E., Michikawa, T., Katoh, T. and Saito, H. (2015) Relieving pain and distress during venipuncture: Pilot study of the Japan Environment and Children’s Study (JECS). Pediatrics International. 57(5), p.1044-7.

DOI: 10.1111/ped.12818.

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