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Paediatr Anaesth. 2004 Dec;14(12):977-82.

A randomized, double-blind comparison study of EMLA and ELA-Max for topical anesthesia in children undergoing intravenous insertion.

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Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR 97239, USA.



Topical anesthetics may help reduce discomfort associated with procedures involving needle-puncture, such as intravenous (i.v.) insertions, in children. EMLA cream has become a common, noninvasive therapy for topical anesthesia in children. ELA-Max is a recently introduced topical anesthetic cream marketed as being as effective in producing topical anesthesia after a 30-min application as EMLA is after a 60-min application. The purpose of this research was to compare ELA-Max at 30 min with EMLA at 60 min for providing topical anesthesia for i.v. insertions in children.


Sixty children, ages 8-17 years, requiring an i.v. were randomized to receive either the 30 min application of ELA-Max (n = 30) or the 60 min application of EMLA (n = 30). Children rated any pain associated with the i.v. insertion using a 100-mm Visual Analog Scale (VAS). The anesthesiologist assessed the presence of blanching at the site and rated the difficulty of placing the i.v.


There was no clinically or statistically significant difference in pain ratings (P = 0.87) between the ELA-Max (mean = 25.7) and the EMLA (mean = 26.8) groups. ELA-Max caused significantly (P = 0.04) less blanching than EMLA, however there was no difference in the anesthesiologists' rating of the difficulty of the i.v. placement between the groups (P = 0.73).


Results from this study support the claim that a 30-min application of ELA-Max (with occlusion) is as effective as a 60-min application of EMLA (with occlusion) for producing topical anesthesia for i.v. insertion in children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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