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Anesth Analg. 2004 Feb;98(2):343-5, table of contents.

Reducing venipuncture pain by a cough trick: a randomized crossover volunteer study.

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Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University, Greifswald, Germany.


We tested the effectiveness of the cough trick (CT) as a method of pain relief during peripheral venipuncture (VP) in a crossover study. Twenty healthy volunteers were punctured twice in the same hand vein within an interval of 3 wk, once with the CT procedure and once without it. The intensity of pain, hand withdrawal, palm sweating, blood pressure, heart rate, and serum glucose concentration were recorded. The intensity of pain during VP with the CT procedure was less than without it, whereas the other variables changed insignificantly. The easily performed CT was effective in pain reduction during VP, although the mechanism remains unclear.


The effectiveness of a cough trick for pain reduction during peripheral venipuncture was tested in a volunteer study in which each subject served as his own control. The easily performed cough-trick procedure was effective for pain reduction, although the mechanism remains unclear.

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