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Chest. 1996 Dec;110(6):1443-5.

Pain during arterial puncture.

Author information

1
Departament de Pneumologia, Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, Hospital de la Santa Creu i de Sant Pau, Catalonia, Spain.

Abstract

STUDY OBJECTIVE:

To quantify the level of pain reported by patients during arterial puncture with or without local anesthesia, and to compare the results with levels reported for venous puncture.

DESIGN:

Double-blind study of puncture with and without local anesthesia.

SETTING:

Pulmonary function laboratory, department of pneumology.

PATIENTS:

We studied 270 consecutive patients undergoing arterial puncture divided into two groups. In group A (n = 210), we assessed level of pain with and without local anesthesia and with placebo. In group B (n = 60), we compared pain of arterial and venous puncture.

INTERVENTIONS:

The arterial puncture was performed in the radial artery; venous puncture was in the median basilic vein.

MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS:

The pain was quantified on a visual analog scale (10 cm). Mean level of pain for all arterial punctures without anesthesia or placebo was slight to moderate (3.01 +/- 1.94 cm). Subcutaneous anesthetic infiltration before arterial puncture significantly reduced pain by more than 50%, to 1.50 +/- 1.54 cm, a level that was significantly lower than the pain level reported after conventional venous puncture (1.80 +/- 1.10 cm). The pain reported by patients who received no anesthesia was not significantly different (p = 0.45) from that perceived by those who received subcutaneous infiltration of saline solution (placebo).

CONCLUSIONS:

Arterial puncture with prior infiltration of local anesthetic is the least painful procedure among those studied. Use of local anesthesia is indicated whenever conventional arterial puncture is required.

PMID:
8989058
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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