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A cooling spray now under study can help reduce a child's pain during venipuncture and improve rates of I.V. placement on the first attempt. The nontoxic vapocoolant spray provides transient skin anesthesia within seconds of application, making it especially useful in emergencies.

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In a study, researchers randomly administered the "Pain Ease" spray or a placebo to 80 children ages 6 to 12 before venipuncture. Children rated their pain using a color visual analogue scale. Fifty percent of children who received the spray reported having no pain or minimal pain during cannulation, compared with 32% of those who received a placebo. Venipuncture was successful on the first attempt 85% of the time with the spray, versus 62% with placebo.


Source: Farion KJ, et al., The effect of vapocoolant spray on pain due to intravenous cannulation in children: A randomized controlled trial, Canadian Medical Association Journal, July 1, 2008.