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Spray Cuts Kids' Pain When Getting IVs
Date:6/30/2008

But it may not be much more effective than placebo, one expert says

MONDAY, June 30 (HealthDay News) -- A topical spray reduces the pain of placing intravenous (IV) lines in children, Canadian researchers report.

The spray, called Pain Ease, reduced pain by 34 percent in children getting IV lines when compared with a placebo group and improved the success rate of inserting the lines, said lead researcher Dr. William Splinter, a staff anesthesiologist and medical director of palliative care at Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa.

"This feature is especially important when time is limited, such as in a busy office practice or emergency department, where topical methods of pain relief have not traditionally been available," Splinter said.

These results are significant as previous studies of similar vapocoolant sprays did not show a reduction in pain during IV line insertion in children, Splinter added.

The report is published in the July 1 issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

In the study, Splinter's team randomly assigned 80 children, aged 6 to 12, undergoing urgent intravenous procedures, to the spray or placebo. The effectiveness of the spray was based on the children's own report of pain and an assessment by their parents and the nurses of how easily the procedure went.

In addition to reducing pain, inserting the needle or tube was more successful among patients treated with the spray, the researchers found.

"Effective pain relief combined with improved success on first cannulation [insertion] attempt results in fewer repeat attempts, decreased procedure times, and improved satisfaction among children, parents and health-care providers," Splinter said.

The spray is nontoxic, less expensive than alternatives, works immediately, and does not require a needle, Splinter noted.

Dr. Mark Greenberg, director of pediatric anes
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