EMLA Cream vs 10% Lidocaine Cream for Attenuating Venous Cannulation Pain – A Clinical Trial

Oluwayemisi Bamidele Oluwadun,1 Oyebola Olubodun Adekola,2 Olufemi I.O. Dada,2 Simeon O. Olanipekun,1 Adebayo Sulaimon Adetunji,3 John Olutola Olatosi,2 Olushola Temitayo Kushimo2

1 Department of Anaesthesia, EKO Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria

2 Department of Anaesthesia, University of Lagos & Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria

3 Department of Anaesthesia, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria

Correspondence to: Dr OB Ogundun, Department of Anaesthesia, Eko Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria; email: gyogundun@yahoo.co.uk


Background: Venous cannulation is a painful procedure that is associated with anxiety, distress and discomfort. But pain is frequently overlooked in adults. Aims and Objective: We compared the efficacy of 5% EMLA cream and 10% lidocaine cream in attenuating pain associated with peripheral venous cannulation. Methods: This prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled trial was conducted in 102 ASA I and II adults scheduled for elective surgery. They were randomly allocated by blind balloting to one of three groups: group E had 1.5 mL of EMLA cream, group L 1.5 mL of 10% lidocaine cream, and group P 1.5 mL KY gel. All cream was applied over a visible vein for 60 min with occlusive dressing. Pain was evaluated using visual analogue scale (VAS) and verbal rating scale (VRS). Results: The mean VAS score was significantly lower with either EMLA cream (2.62±1.76 cm) or 10% lidocaine cream (1.85±1.58 cm) than with placebo (4.78 ±1.88 cm), p<0.001. Most patients who received EMLA cream (76.5%) or 10% lidocaine cream (70.6%) compared with placebo (55.9%) had mild pain during cannulation using VRS. Conclusion: The eutectic mixture of local anesthetic cream and lidocaine cream attenuated pain associated with peripheral venous cannulation to varying degrees.

Key words: Venous cannulation pain, 10% lidocaine, EMLA, VAS, VRS, Side effects

Ann Afr Surg. 2019; 16(1):4–10

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/aas.v16i1.2

Conflicts of Interest: None

Funding: None

© 2019 Author. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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