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Anesthesia

Afraid of General Anathesia Needle

05/12/2009

Question:

Can a doctor give you something so you don`t feel the needle? I am afraid of needles, even for blood tests.

Answer:

Yes. There are a variety of products available in different countries which all contain local anesthetic and should be applied to the skin at least 45 minutes before the needlestick. One such product is called EMLA. If sufficient time has elapsed the area of application will be numb and the sharp sensation of needle insertion will not be felt. Other techniques work too. For instance, when asked to cough immediately before the needle is inserted, the pain of insertion is much decreased or even absent, assuming a certain degree of skill on the part of the person doing the insertion.

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Response by:

Gareth S Kantor, MD Gareth S Kantor, MD
Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University