If you have you have ever had an injection with standard lidocaine you might have experienced the painful sensation of stinging and burning that can be quite painful. So, again I ask, are the patients’ needs really being met when it comes to addressing pain management with IV starts? By using the J-Tip it offers an anesthetic option to patients without the use of a needle. It also can benefit the staff by helping to reduce the risk of an accidental needle stick injury.
There are medications that can be used as an alternative to standard lidocaine that can help to minimize the stinging and burning sensations as it enters the tissue. Buffered lidocaine1 has a pH level that can minimize the sting or burn associated with standard lidocaine2. It does however, have a shorter shelf life compared to standard lidocaine and must be compounded by a pharmacy3. The J-Tip needle-free injector is most frequently used with 1% buffered lidocaine for IV starts.
In the past there has been a shortage of sodium bicarb which is an ingredient within buffered lidocaine. In that case, 1% Xylocaine®-MPF (Methylparaben Free) can be used as an alternative in the J-Tip. 1% MPF lidocaine is usually readily accessible and it also comes in a vial. It may have a longer shelf life when compared to the compounded buffered lidocaine. From my own experience, 1% MPF lidocaine does have a slight sting when it initially enters the subcutaneous tissue but dissipates almost immediately. With that being said, using 1% buffered lidocaine for IV starts is generally preferred when using the J-Tip especially when treating children.
Many facilities have adopted this device site wide to include departments such as Emergency, Pediatrics, Radiology, Pre-Op, infusion centers and many more. Using lidocaine intradermally and subcutaneously is an option that can help to address pain management for IV starts. The J-Tip is a tool that allows you to use this method without the use of the needle. This quick and easy method can make a considerable difference in patient satisfaction. It’s time we start making patients’ satisfaction a top priority at medical facilities.