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Minimizing IV Pain with Anesthetics

​​​The Annual Meeting for the Infusion Nurses Society took place May 3rd through 8th in Phoenix, Arizona. Over 66 presenters gave talks ranging from patient safety risks in electronic medical records to use of local anesthesia in infusion therapy during the six-day event. Sandra Drozdz Burke, a clinical associate professor at the Urbana Campus of the University of Illinois, gave the latter talk and used an interactive method through which she polled the attendees about their use of local anesthetics during placement of peripheral IVs. Though the responses to her questions varied widely for use of anesthetics, the bottom line as quoted from her presentation states that "Local anesthesia prior to starting IVs reduces pain and anxiety in adults and children in various settings". Ms. Burke then informed the audience on the pharmacokinetic functionality of different anesthetics and proper use in various settings. Her presentation objective stated, "As nurses, we have the opportunity to create a patient care environment where pain is minimized - or eliminated completely. Why would we choose not to do that?" After the session was completed, many more nurses who originally did not use anesthesia for IV placement said they were more likely to use it when they returned to practice.

See the full list of conference sessions and available materials on the INS website.

Local anesthetics for IV insertion​​​

These anesthetics were reviewed in Sandra Burke's talk during the INS annual meeting.

Product Time to onset
EMLA45-60 minutes
LMX420-30 minutes
Gebauer's Ethyl ChlorideUpon application
Synera20-30 minutes
J tip< 5 minutes
Zingo10 minutes


-Please refer to manufacturers for listing of potential adverse reactions to anesthetics.

The opinions expressed above are those of the presenter and not necessarily those of Christie Medical Holdings, Inc.