Health Team

Device Makes Needle's Stick Easier to Take

Posted August 17, 2007 5:38 p.m. EDT

Many people dread going to the doctor, especially when a needle is involved. But a new device released this week can help ease anxious patients' fears.

"Approximately 40 percent of patients have a high discomfort with a needle draw," said Dr. Shilpa Saxena, one of a growing number of physicians now offering LidoSite. "Everyone is afraid of needles to some degree."

The device sends a mild electrical current to two patches, one of them over a vein, which contain numbing medicine.

The patient then feels a warming sensation, and after about 10 minutes, the site of where the needle will stick is numb.

According to its manufacturer, LidoSite works for patients ages 5 and older, but it cannot be used for people with pacemakers or an open wound.

Saxena said he hopes the device will ease the fears of patients who sometimes make excuses about why they cannot make trips to the doctor.

"Blood draws are a wonderful way for us to determine how a patient is doing," he said. "So any way to help patients get more information about their health is a good thing."