(TORONTO) -- Canadian researchers report that if an injection of local anesthetic is warmed beforehand, the shot will be much less painful for the patient, according to the Annals of Emergency Medicine.
A review of 18 studies found that warmed injections resulted in a "clinically meaningful reduction in pain," regardless of the amount injected or whether it was injected subcutaneously (under the skin) or intradermally (into the skin).
Lead author of the study, Dr. Anna Taddio of the University of Toronto, explained how a small change can make a big difference for patients.
"Warming an injection is a cost-free step that emergency physicians can take to reduce pain from a shot."
"Patients often dread the sight of a needle, but doing something as simple as warming the injection to body temperature can make a painful part of an emergency department visit more tolerable," Taddio added.
The study highlighted several ways to warm injections including controlled water baths, incubators, fluid warmers, baby food warmers and a syringe warmer.
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