<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1119689118113199&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Ease the Way Blog

Improve patient comfort and satisfaction with weekly advice
delivered directly to your inbox.

Need Help Navigating Medical Device Approvals - Download Now

Important Risk and Safety Information for Gebauer’s Pain Ease® and Gebauer’s Ethyl Chloride®:

Do not spray in eyes. Over spraying may cause frostbite. Freezing may alter skin pigmentation. Use caution when using product on persons with poor circulation. The thawing process may be painful and freezing may lower resistance to infection and delay healing. If skin irritation develops, discontinue use. CAUTION: Federal law restricts this device to sale by or on the order of a licensed healthcare practitioner.

Gebauer’s Pain Ease Only:

Apply only to intact oral mucous membranes. Do not use on genital mucous membranes. Consult your pediatrician when using on children 4 years old and younger.

Gebauer’s Ethyl Chloride Only:

Published clinical trial results support the use in children 3 years of age and older. Ethyl chloride is FLAMMABLE and should never be used in the presence of an open flame or electrical cautery equipment. Use in a well-ventilated area. Intentional misuse by deliberately concentrating or inhaling the contents can be harmful or fatal. Do not spray in eyes. Over application of the product may lead to frostbite and/or altered skin pigmentation. Cutaneous sensitization may occur, but appears to be extremely rare. CAUTION: Federal law restricts this device to sale by or on the order of a licensed healthcare practitioner.

Join our social networks

Connect Follow Connect

Topical Anesthetic Skin Refrigerant Spray and Other Methods Can Help Patients with a Fear of Needles

By: Bethany Nock | On: August 19, 2015


Imagine: After several days of apprehension and many sleepless nights, the appointment you’ve dreaded has arrived. Years of needle phobia topped with too many experiences that lacked patient comfort measures, like topical anesthetic spray for injections beforehand, have left you fearful and stressed for even routine visits. You follow your orthopedist’s friendly office assistant into a brightly-lit examination room smelling of disinfectant, and reluctantly remove your jacket. Your ailing shoulder is exposed, and now you’re one step closer.

“Doctor Jones will be with you shortly,” the staff member says. She closes the door as she disappears into the hall.

You begin to feel the familiar rush of anxiety. It starts in the pit of your stomach, and spreads up through your shaking hands. “Not again,” you say to yourself as you fight to suppress the overwhelming panic. Your throat becomes tight and your thoughts become fogged.

The doctor arrives with a rushed greeting. You’re the fourth patient he’s seen this morning, and there are three more in the waiting room. He gingerly cleanses the area and picks up the syringe of the cortisone injection. Your heart begins to race, the room begins to spin and, suddenly, everything goes black.

Taking Fear of Needles Seriously

No one enjoys visiting the doctor for injections or vaccines. At the least, sitting in an examination room while a medical professional punctures your skin with a needle is an inconvenient annoyance. For some patients, though, the thought of even being in the presence of a needle can result in hypertension, tachycardia and, in some cases, loss of consciousness.

As a medical professional, the thought of someone being fearful of needles can seem ludicrous. How could a grown adult fear the tiny prick of a needle administered by a highly trained professional? However, like many inexplicable phobias, it is no trivial matter. In fact, phobias related to needles and injections affect more than 20 percent of the general population.

Because needle phobia is so common, it’s important for doctors to take it seriously. Here are three methods physicians can practice to ease the fear of needles:

1. Accept the Concern as Valid

In many cases, people living with trypanophobia, the fear of needles, are embarrassed by their condition. After all, when one of your greatest fears is most commonly discussed in the context of children, you can’t help but feel uncomfortable voicing your unease.

The first step in assuaging these feelings is to recognize your patients’ concerns as valid and important. Assure them you’ll do everything within your power to make the experience more comfortable. By acknowledging this concern as a real, valid issue, you earn your patients’ trust.

2. Practice Breathing Exercises

Researchers have performed multiple studies on how breathing affects stress responses, and breathing exercises have been used in eastern medicine for thousands of years. Slow, deep breaths can decrease the release of cortisol and slow heart rate.

"When you are stressed, you have your foot on the gas, pedal to the floor,” says Dr. Esther Sternberg, a neural-immune expert at the National Institute of Mental Health. “When you take slow, deep breaths, that is what is engaging the brake.”

By taking a few minutes to walk your patient through a breathing exercise, you can not only help reduce their fear of needles you’re providing them a tool to use in all future needle encounters.

3. Using Topical Anesthetic Spray for Injections

The problem with pain is it’s completely subjective. What you consider painful and what your patients consider painful can be completely different. So, to assume pain from an injection is “no big deal” could be detrimental to your patient’s experience.

However, in the case of needle phobia, it’s not necessarily the pain that causes the stress response—it’s the anticipation of pain. The act of applying n topical anesthetic spray for injections can help ease a patient’s panic and help them through the process.

By acknowledging your patients’ fears and concerns, giving them tools to combat anxiety and making use of medical devices like topical anesthetic skin refrigerants, you can help needle-phobic patients get through their traumatic experiences. Additionally, by recording their concerns, you can be better prepared for their next visit.

When it comes to needle phobia and needle anxiety, an instant topical anesthetic spray for injections is a game changer. Learn more about needle anxiety and tactics to help combat it with your patients here.