Hope of a painfree needle to end injection trauma
Hope of a painfree needle to end injection trauma

Who would argue with a painfree injection

Nobody loves the thought of a needle piercing their skin least of all doctors and dentists who have to deal with stressed and anxious patients

Scientists have been working on this problem for a while but a young British inventor based in Somerset may have come up with the solution

Oliver Blackwells device looks like the typical syringes used in hospitals and doctors surgeries around the country with one crucial difference

On the front is a much smaller needle which injects a tiny amount of local anaesthetic to ease the pain of the larger needle which follows

It is essentially two injections in one the first one virtually painfree paving the way for the second one which is rendered painless

The first injection is quotlike a fly landing on your palmquot the inventor says

Blackwell who is 29 and graduated in industrial design from the University of Plymouth UK in 2005 says his painfree needle could be used in millions of procedures every year and reduce the risk of contamination or confusion because staff will only have to deal with one device
Oliver Blackwells painfree needle On the front of the cannula is a small needle which administers around 02ml of local anaesthetic

quotAt the moment if they want to use a local anaesthetic they have to use two needles find keys and go to the medicine cupboard separately and it all takes time and effortquot he says

He involved experts in his design enrolling the help of two family doctors and a former president of The Royal College of Anaesthetists

They insisted that it should be easy to use feel and look familiar and meet the needs of patients and doctors


Dr Alan McGlennan lead obstetric anaesthetist at the Royal Free Hospital in London said the idea of a painfree needle had value

quotNobody likes having injections but in my line of work it tends to end up with a needle somewherequot

He meets at least one adult every week who is so anxious about needles that their blood pressure rises

Children aged between three and 12 are also particularly prone to needle phobia he says

quotBut so much of it is perception rather than reality For many people its psychologicalquot

Dr McGlennan has sometimes used a local anaesthetic paste on patients arms which numbs the skin prior to an injection

This eases the pain but the needle still has to penetrate the skin

Perhaps in the future there will be a way of avoiding needles altogether

American scientists have tested a vaccine patch on mice which cuts out the need for painful needles

Instead the patch has hundreds of microscopic needles which dissolve into the skin

The researchers say that one day it could be used to enable people to vaccinate themselves against flu for example
Highspeed jet

Several years ago Japanese scientists claimed they had developed a tiny hypodermic syringe that could be used to give virtually painfree injections

This could be very good news for people with conditions like diabetes who require daily injections of insulin to manage their condition

A needlefree injecting device is available on prescription in the UK says charity Diabetes UK

The insujet insulin administration system is intended for people who are uncomfortable injecting themselves with a needle

When administered the insulin passes through a small channel creating a high speed jet that can penetrate the skin and underlying tissue

quotCombined with a unique automatic injection system this results in virtually painless insulin administrationquot the charitys spokesman Richard Evans explains

Blackwells device has been through extensive testing but there are still more trials to come before it can be massproduced

He has won design awards before and is currently working on a range of different inventions from agricultural machinery to electrical products and medical devices

quotIt is all about gaining an insight You take simple information on board from the experts and adapt your thinking based on their skillsquot

Millions of people will be hoping he gets it right

Date : 24 Mar, 2012
Reference : http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17487999

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