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Johns Hopkins Medicine Suburban - Nurses Study Way to Ease Patient Pain

New Directions Summer 2012

Nurses Study Way to Ease Patient Pain

Date: June 1, 2012

Elaine Rochon, RN, and Jo-Anne Harron, RN
Elaine Rochon, RN, and Jo-Anne Harron, RN, tested topical anesthesia on patients to alleviate pain on IV insertion.

For some, a blood draw or an IV insertion can be an uncomfortable and sometimes painful experience. In response to feedback the hospital received from older patients who experienced pain with IV insertion, nurses at Suburban researched the literature and found evidence that applying a topical anesthesia before a puncture could reduce pain significantly. So they launched a pilot study of their own at Suburban.

Nurses applied topical anesthesia to 20 patients older than 65 years of age who were having surgery or were recovering from surgery and needed an IV restarted. Their findings indicate that in our older patient population, using a local anesthetic cream is effective for reducing the pain of IV insertion. The nurses presented their findings at a national nursing conference this spring. Additionally, the nurses are in the process of presenting the study results and recommendations to hospital leadership.