Learn here how numbing cream helps you manage pain occurring during cannulation.
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Cannulation is a medical process in which cannula, a needle shaped tube, is inserted to the vein to collect blood samples or deliver the fluids, medication and blood products to the body.
While it is an important medical technique, many people fear due to its invasive nature. The fear may be rational as cannulation causes little to severe pain in kids and adults. On the top of that, 50 million Americans have fear of needles (trypanophobia).
Not all medical facilities have procedures in place to minimize the pain caused by cannulation, especially in kids. According to one study, emergency department rarely use pain relieving drugs while placing IV catheters into kid’s skin. Another study which is conducted by NCBI found that less than half the medical and surgical doctors use local anesthesia like numbing cream. The report concluded by saying that the “juniordoctors are giving their patients more pain than is necessary.”
Why Pain Relief is Important in Cannulation?
Given that it is done inserting needle to the veins, cannulation does hurt. Even the sight of the process is disturbing, discouraging people from getting future treatment. On the top of that, the use of anesthetic or pain numbing medication is not that encouraging among medical facilities.
Even worse, the fear of the process can prompt an autonomic response, which can lead to vasoconstriction.
It also makes the insertion difficult for the physician, requiring him several attempts to get venous access.
Why Not Using Your Own Topical Anesthetic for Cannulation Pain?
In such scenario, using a numbing cream beforehand does make sense if you or someone is about to undergo cannulation. Numbing cream is a topical anesthetic which dulls the skin patch. Once your skin is desensitized, you don’t feel anything happening to your skin. The numbing effect lasts up to 2 hours. According to one study, Lidocaine 4% cream is effective in managing pain for cannulation in both kids and adults.
How to Choose Right Numbing Cream for Cannulation?
There are many numbing creams to choose from. However, you need the one which can efficiently numb your skin according to the intensity of the process. Here are some tips to choose effective numbing cream for cannulation:
- Make sure to choose the numbing cream with 5% lidocaine
- Check the user reviews
- Consult your dermatologist
How to Use Numbing Cream for Cannulation?
- Use soap and water to clean the skin. After that, pat it dry with clean cloth or towel.
- Use a numbing cream in liberal amount or as mentioned on the pack. Spread the cream over the skin.
- After applying the cream, cover the skin area with a plastic cling. (Don’t use heating pad or cloth for this purpose.)
- Wait for one hour and then remove the cover from the skin.
Precautions You Should Follow While Using Numbing Cream for Cannulation:
- Choose the cream with 5% of Lidocaine.
- Avoid using the cream on broken or irritated skin like wound, scar and rashes as the cream can enter the blood stream.
- Never keep the numbing cream more than prescribed time period.
- Consult your doctor if you are a nursing mother, pregnant or having any medical condition.
- See your physician if you experience anything unpleasant like severe burning, irritation, redness, swelling or blurred vision after applying a numbing cream.