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Anaesthesia. 2000 Mar;55(3):260-2.

Towards a pain-free venepuncture.

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Changi General Hospital, Department of Anaesthesia and Surgical Intensive Care, 2 Simei Street 3, Singapore 529889.


A randomised, prospective trial was conducted to assess the efficacy of various means of alleviating the pain of subcutaneous lidocaine infiltration. One hundred and twenty-two patients were randomly allocated to different groups to receive buffered lidocaine 1%, warmed lidocaine 1% or infiltration by the counter-irritation technique. A visual analogue pain score was recorded at different stages of cannulation and results showed that pain scores were significantly lower in the group receiving buffered lidocaine 1% (p < 0.02) and in the counter-irritation group (p < 0.05). Thus buffering lidocaine 1% and administration of lidocaine 1% by the counter-irritation technique is effective in relieving the pain of lidocaine infiltration.

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