When children must give a blood specimen or have an intravenous drip inserted, many feel pain. Drugs like EMLA and amethocaine have been developed to numb the skin and prevent or ease pain caused by needle insertion. EMLA is generally applied for 60 minutes before the procedure, whereas amethocaine is applied for 30 minutes before drawing a blood specimen and 45 minutes before insertion of an intravenous drip. Doctors, nurses and parents question which is better for relieving children's pain associated with needle insertion, EMLA or amethocaine? Also of importance is which of these drugs works best when recommended application times cannot be met? This review took six trials into account (534 children aged three months to 15 years). We considered how well EMLA and amethocaine eased pain from needles for three application times: when the drugs were applied for a short time, a long period of time and when applied for the recommended time. Although EMLA is effective in relieving children's pain amethocaine is superior no matter what the duration of time it is applied. Considering how well EMLA and amethocaine ease pain from giving blood specimens and having an intravenous drip inserted, we found that amethocaine is superior to EMLA for intravenous drip insertion. We were unable to compare EMLA and amethocaine for relieving children's pain when giving blood specimens because of a lack of research with this type of needle insertion.
Comparison of a eutectic mixture of local anaesthetics (EMLA) in a cream and amethocaine for relieving the pain children experience when they have injections
June 6, 2013