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A Journal on Anesthesiology, Resuscitation, Analgesia and Intensive Care

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Anesthesiology, Analgesia, Resuscitation and Intensive Care
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Minerva Anestesiologica 2005 October;71(10):609-15

language: English, Italian

A new method to reduce pin-prick pain of intra-muscular and subcutaneous injections

Romanò C. L. 1, Cecca E. 2

1 Orthopedic Institute Gaetano Pini, Milan, Italy
2 Dermatology Unit San Carlo Hospital, Milan, Italy


Aim. Although about 10% of the normal population is thought to be needle-phobic, no method to reduce pin-prick pain is currently available for large scale application. We describe a new simple and easy-to-do method to reduce pin-prick pain through the pressure of multiple blunt pins at the injection site.
Methods. Two-hundred and twelve patients were randomly assigned to 2 groups. The treated group (n= 106) received intramuscular and subcutaneous injections with the application of the blunt pins and the control group (n= 106) with a placebo device. Pain was tested with the visual analogue scale on a 0 (no pain)-10 (maximum pain) scale.
Results. After intramuscular injections a significant (P<0.0001) pain reduction in the treated group compared to placebo was observed: 1.90±1.27 versus 5.16±1.37 (mean pain reduction: 63.2%); 88.5% of the patients in the treated group and 11.4% in placebo group rated the pain as ≤3. After subcutaneous injections mean reported pain in the treated group compared to placebo was: 0.32±0.51 versus 2.61±0.77 (mean pain reduction: 87.7%) (P<0.0001); 95.1% of the patients in the treated group and 9.8% in the placebo rated the pain as ≤1. No side effects were observed.
Conclusion. Multiple blunt pins pressure on the skin, at the time of intramuscular or subcutaneous injection is able to significantly reduce pin-prick pain. The underlying physiological mechanisms are briefly discussed.

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