Brenda Sturgeleski and her team at Child-Friendly Hospital Foundation (CFHF) are on a mission to educate nurses, medical support staff and certified child life specialists about how the smallest things can make the biggest difference in a child’s lifetime healthcare journey. Things like using child-friendly language when explaining procedures or entering the room with a sticker or teddy bear can bring the child (and the parent) great comfort and minimize the anxiety and fear that is often associated with a healthcare visit or hospital stay.
One of the biggest game-changers that Brenda recently found was the Buzzy® device, invented by world renowned pain care physician Dr. Amy Baxter. The device combines a proprietary frequency of mechanical vibration combined with a cooling sensation to remove more than 70% of the pain when administering an injection or using a needle. Accompanying the device with things like DistrACTION® cards can also contribute to a more positive patient experience.
As a Child Life, Recreational Therapist, Educator and Founder of CFHF, Brenda has heard first-hand from clinicians on how Buzzy is helping them reduce fear and pain for their pediatric patients. According to Brenda, “Nurses, medical support teams, child life specialists and parents often state that Buzzy is a ‘game-changer’ for all needle sticks, and recently even COVID nasal swab testing, making them less painful and scary! The Buzzy device aligns perfectly with our mission for creating positive healthcare experiences for pediatric patients and their caregivers!”
How it Works
Buzzy uses natural “gate control” pain relief by confusing the body’s nerves, thereby dulling or eliminating sharp pain. In the same way that rubbing a bumped elbow helps stop the hurt, Buzzy controls acute pain. The premise is that when nerves receive non-painful signals such as vibration or cold, the brain closes the gate on pain signals.
The second part of Buzzy’s efficacy, and the reason it can help even when distant from the site of procedural pain, is called Descending Noxious Inhibitory Control, or DNIC. DNIC is another effective pain control mechanism that uses the brain’s ability to dampen out unwanted signals. Instead of happening right where the nerves are, though, an intense degree of cold can work anywhere on the body. In scientific terms, intense cold activates a supraspinal modulation raising the body’s overall pain threshold.
Reversing the Needle Fear Trend
The number of needle fear and fainting episodes in patients who were born after 1983 has skyrocketed, according to a recent report titled Addressing Needle Dred, Fear and Phobia that provides an analysis of needle fear studies completed over the past 50 years. Needle fear and pain directly correlate to a patient’s willingness to follow crucial preventative care measures and medication therapies. It is particularly challenging for children to understand the necessity of some tests and treatments that require multiple injections, and as a result, develop an aversion to receiving medical care that can last a lifetime.
According to Amy Baxter MD, FAAP, FACEP, CEO and Founder of Pain Care Labs, “By creating positive healthcare experiences for pediatric patients, we can reverse this trend that has resulted in one in four Americans having needle fear, and improve adherence to critical preventative healthcare practices, such as receiving vaccinations.”
CFHF and Pain Care Labs recently announced a partnership that is designed to help get more Buzzy devices into the hands of hospital administrators, clinicians and caregivers who are unable to afford the device.
To learn more about how you can support CFHF’s mission of helping to create more positive healthcare experiences for pediatric patients, visit their website or check them out on social media.
The Buzzy device is one of several non-invasive, drug-free pain solutions produced by Pain Care Labs. Pain Care Labs is the industry leader in non-invasive pain relief solutions. Buzzy® has been used to block pain for over 37 million needle procedures. VibraCool® is an FDA registered 510(k) cleared device to treat myofascial pain caused by trigger points, restricted motion, and muscle tension. Established in 2006 by emergency physician and pain researcher Amy Baxter M.D., the Company is dedicated to effective, reusable, and affordable solutions for pain. The Company’s award-winning solutions are based on patented Oscillice® M-Stim®, a mechanical stimulation/thermal neuromodulation platform. Pain Care Labs was named “Industry Leader for Localized Pain Relief” by Frost & Sullivan, a leading market research firm. For more information, including a list of published studies, please visit PainCareLabs.com.
Read the recent announcement from CFHF and Pain Care Labs.