Would you have to anesthetize your kid for their routine immunizations? A very nicely done study published last month in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that applying topical lidocaine together with other techniques helps decrease the pain—but not by a lot.
They used three previously recommended types of pain relief at 2, 4, 6, and 12 months on kids that were 352. Using nothing, video instruction on the best way to soothe their infant, or video instruction plus oral concentrated sugar solution gave an immediate pain score of 6.7 where zero is no distress and 10 is very bad pain. The pain score went down to 6.3 if they put on external lidocaine plus the other interventions.
So just why do not we use external lidocaine on all babies before shots and run out? There are potential problems not mentioned in the study’s main findings and some issues:
1. The decrease in pain is less than 5 percent.
2. Retail without insurance can cost $40 per dose, and topical lidocaine changes significantly in price, but even at wholesale costs at least $5 per dose and also the child will need at least two doses each visit.
3. The topical lidocaine needs at least 5 minutes to work, which might make for a longer visit.
4. Many people get an allergic reaction to topical lidocaine with repeated use.
5. Athough many folks loathe the idea of having shots, the pain of baby shots is just not the deep pain that happens with mostly the Tetanus immunization about four hours afterwards, although the first pain of the needle.
While I see nothing seriously wrong with utilizing the lidocaine on skin on infants before shots (although I worry about inducing allergy), I consider giving just one dose of acetaminophen like Tylenol when the child is in distress afterwards makes more sense. More discussions on the immunization are happeining at health discussion forum