Numbing spray for IV starts is also used in hospital settings to provide an instant anesthetic effect. Gebauer Company has a product on the market called Pain Ease which comes in single use or multiple use spray can that provides instant pain relief and lasts up to 1 minute⁴. This product does have multiple options for use in other medical procedures such as suturing and suture removal, injections, drainage of small abscesses and many more. I do have personal experience using this spray as a medical assistant. I assisted physicians in minor procedures and would use the spray to numb an area for the physician to insert a small needle to inject lidocaine. Many patients complained that the spray did not last long and that they still had pain from the needle penetrating their skin. I say this as my personal experience, other clinical staff could have had different experiences. As I mentioned earlier, the J-Tip is used as to numbing for IV insertion but like the Pain Ease spray, the J-Tip can also be used for multiple procedures. Many facilities have started using the J-Tip to pre-numb an area for lumbar puncture, PICC insertion, small biopsies and intramuscular injections.
Setting the patient up for success it key! Distraction methods can also be very helpful when setting up for an IV. Honesty is the best policy! Explain what is going to happen from the pre-numbing injection to the needle stick itself. It is also important to know what the patient is comfortable doing in that situation as to how they sit or where they are looking. I’ve been told by patients that it is helpful to look away when inserting the needle as it can help reduce the pain. Some patients feel more comfortable watching because they feel like they are more prepared for what is about to happen. When dealing with children it is a great idea to include the parent in comforting the child in how they sit as well.