Local anesthetics to prevent pain

Two products commonly used to prevent pain are EMLA cream and Numby Stuff.

EMLA cream

How given: Applied to the skin and covered with an airtight dressing one to two hours before procedures such as spinal tap, bone marrow aspiration, or injection.

How it works: Emulsion that contains two anesthetics, lidocaine and prilocaine.

Note: May take longer than an hour to achieve effective anesthesia in dark-skinned individuals.

We use EMLA for everything: finger pokes, accessing port, shots, spinal taps, and bone marrows. I even let her sister use it for shots because it lets her get a bit of attention, too. Both of my children have sensitive skin that turns red when they pull off tape, so I cover the EMLA with plastic wrap held in place with paper tape. I also fold back the edge of each piece of tape to make a pull tab so the kids don't have to peel each edge back from their skin.

Numby Stuff

How given: Needle-free method of delivering pain medication through the use of low-level electric currents applied to the skin.

How it works: Emulsion that contains two anesthetics, lidocaine and epinephrine.

Note: Anesthetizes skin and tissue in ten to fifteen minutes. Some children and teens do not like the electrical sensation that goes from the site to the battery pack.

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