Dialysis and Needle Ache | DevonTexas

Dialysis and Needle Pain | DevonTexas
March 21, 2014 0 Comments

I posted this a pair years again nevertheless it’s a preferred matter for dialysis sufferers, new and skilled, so I’ll submit it once more to refresh it.  It has some sage recommendation from different sufferers and the way they take care of the needle stick.

Coping with the ache of “the stick” is basically troublesome, particularly for brand spanking new sufferers.  However, it’s typically robust for all of us.  Simply once you suppose it’s not an issue anymore, you could have a tech who’s not skilled together with your entry and it’s the “painful stick” cycle over again.  Listed below are some issues to think about:

If you begin dialysis the prospect of a 15, 16 or 17 gauge needle being rammed into your arm is daunting… to say the least.  It was for me, too.  The techs referred to the sizes as “small, medium and huge”.  That actually doesn’t describe them nicely.   To my thoughts, they had been all HUGE and, perhaps, HUGER and HUGEST.  I described them to my associates as being concerning the dimension of the tip of a ball-point pen.  The listener would squirm on the thought.  I knew at that time, they understood.


The standard resolution to getting poked with that vast needle is to inject Lidocaine earlier than the stick.  On this case, the tech injects a little bit of Lidocaine slightly below the pores and skin on the web site the place they’ll stick the dialysis needle.  It appears to assist deaden the location and make the insertion of the needle much less painful.

After I first started dialysis, it appeared a very good resolution and so I requested it and the tech did it.  Nevertheless there are drawbacks to this technique.  After a 12 months or so of injecting Lido, my very particular tech, Krystal, advised me I shouldn’t use Lido because it causes scarring.  I struggled with this query for some time after which let her do one stick with out it.  Given the sting of the Lido or the ache of the massive gauge needle, it was truly much less with the dialysis needle.  After some time, there isn’t a ache in any respect as the world deadened to the poke.

A clever fellow affected person had this to say in a posting about Lido Injection:

…lidocaine works nice nonetheless the medical neighborhood is break up some say it’s dangerous for the graft some say the advantages outweigh the chance. I personally by no means wished to take that probability and after I had a graft I by no means used Lido. And in addition I’ve by no means used it with my fistula. I’d say the perfect factor so that you can do is take the ache now and get the world good and lifeless. The world the place you stick the needles will deaden and you’ll finally have little or no if any ache in any respect. I’ve seen sufferers ALWAYS use lido and their graft is ok, so it’s as much as you. Or you possibly can simply use lido for a short while, say the primary few months and slowly wing your self off of it.

The ache concerned with needle sticks is decided by many elements one being how sharp the rattling needle is, I’ve had some actually uninteresting needles one other is the talent of the tech/nurse, one other is your individual tolerance of ache and naturally how briskly the needle insertion lasts. If in case you have a tech/nurses who’s sticking the needle in gradual then the ache will last more. I’ve seen techs/nurses put a needle in in about 1 second. Sure that’s proper about 1 second and normally these had been the gifted ones. The longer you’re at your heart you’ll know which techs are the perfect stickers and which techs to keep away from. Sadly some facilities are actually small so chances are you’ll not have a selection that’s after I advocate you study to stay your self.

He has some excellent recommendation and the scarring challenge Krystal raised  is necessary.  Since I used to be on Lido injections for some time and didn’t instantly take Krystal’s recommendation, I needed to take care of that.  I had a big space that was scarred from repeated Lido injections.  The result’s that it doesn’t heal as simply after the poke and typically it received’t clot as shortly so I’ve to watch out to present it enough time to clot and heal earlier than I take away the bandages.  Sadly, an “aneurysm” shaped in that space.  If I hadn’t stopped utilizing Lido, it could be a lot worse.  (I had the “aneurysm” repaired to keep away from it bursting and being an actual mess.  The world continues to be not a “stickable” space however the hazard of the aneurysm is gone and the world is far smaller. )  So, the perfect recommendation should you want some assistance is to make use of the cream NOT the injection and protect your fistula!


A affected person in a dialysis dialogue discussion board wrote about his expertise with a cream that’s fashionable with dialysis sufferers.  You may apply it about 45-60 minutes earlier than dialysis to numb the world the place you’ll be caught.  It’s referred to as EMLA and it’s Lidocaine or Prilocaine at 2.5% focus.  You will get it at a drug retailer and it requires a prescription.:

“I’ve the Lidocaine+Prilocaine cream, nevertheless it works the identical because the EMLA cream. It soaks in over the hour or two that you’ve got it on and coated. If you get to dialysis, you are taking off the plastic/dressing and wash off the cream. It stays numb for one more hour after that. I really feel no ache in any respect with the decrease needle. The higher needle can damage a bit because it goes additional in.

I unfold on the cream thick sufficient that I can’t see my pores and skin, about twice as broad as my fistula (that’s, overlaying my fistula, plus 50% that width on both sides previous my fistula), and an inch above and beneath the very best and lowest stick marks. I don’t know but if that’s an excessive amount of – I suppose I’ll see if I run out earlier than I can refill the prescription! Then I wrap plain kitchen plastic wrap round my arm, not tightly, and tape the ends. If there are issues I want to try this morning earlier than dialysis, I exploit a big Tegaderm as a substitute as a result of it stays on higher and doesn’t get in the way in which.”

I attempted the cream nevertheless it was troublesome to do after I was dashing from work to dialysis.  I needed to carry plastic wrap with me and attempt to wrap my arm with one hand.  I might do it fairly simply after I had somebody to assist me nevertheless it was too difficult in any other case and I typically left it off.  My expertise with the cream is that it actually wanted to be wrapped to make it only.  In the long run, earlier than I finished, I’d typically apply the cream and use it’s anesthetic profit to deaden the ache of the Lidocaine injection.  Kinda silly nevertheless it labored for some time.


One other resolution is a twig that “freezes” the world to be caught.  Right here, once more, is what one other affected person needed to say…

They use Lidocaine on me when I’m within the hospital. In my clinic, they use Ache Ease. it’s a spray which freezes the pores and skin. I’m not certain whether it is dangerous to my fistula, however, it certain makes the insertion of GIANT needles simpler on me!!

I’m certain the spray doesn’t have the drawbacks of Lido injection. I discovered these warnings about it from the producer.  It shouldn’t impact the fistula. But it surely might harm the pores and skin and isn’t good when you’ve got poor circulation. And, look ahead to an infection.
Over spraying could trigger frostbite
Freezing could alter pores and skin pigmentation
Use warning when utilizing product on diabetics or individuals with poor circulation
Apply solely to intact oral mucous membranes
The thawing course of could also be painful and freezing could decrease resistance to an infection and delay therapeutic
If pores and skin irritation develops, discontinue use
PRE-INJECTION ANESTHESIA: Put together the syringe. Swab the therapy space with an antiseptic. Spray the therapy space with Ache Ease repeatedly for 4 to 10 seconds from a distance of 8 to 18 cm (3 to 7 inches) till the pores and skin simply turns white. Don’t frost the pores and skin/space. Keep away from spraying of the goal space past this state. With the pores and skin taut, shortly introduce the needle. Reapply as wanted. Comply with these instructions for different varieties of needle insertion procedures corresponding to beginning IV’s and venipuncture.
And I discovered this…
Ache Ease causes a transient freezing of the pores and skin floor. The anesthetic impact begins instantly after utility, however lasts lower than one minute. It ought to solely be utilized to intact pores and skin. 
1.) sufferers with peripheral vascular circumstances
2.) sufferers with historical past of hypersensitivity to the product


However, again to the difficulty of the needle stick.  Once more, Epoman had some good recommendation:

Additionally sooner or later DO NOT let the tech dig round for too lengthy in the event that they don’t get it straight away have them pull it out and take a look at a brand new spot. By them digging round an excessive amount of they could clog the needle with tissue and can have stick you in a brand new spot anyway. Consider it or not you’re the boss, keep in mind it’s your arm not theirs. (Ibid)

I realized that lesson, too.  Beforehand, I’d let the tech dig round and hold looking for the artery or vein they so eagerly sought.  Now, I give them about 5 minutes and inform them, “Take away it!  Wait ten minutes and take a look at once more.”  I want that point to recuperate.  (Additionally, ask for Tylenol.  It helps.)  Relaxation up whereas they’re getting the meds and a brand new needle.  In my case, there’s a spot the place the vein narrows (or so we expect) which makes that space significantly troublesome to stay.  When a foul stick occurs, I inform them to return to confirmed floor and stick there.

The trick appears to be getting a tech that’s actually good at sticking you.  That’s not at all times straightforward.  I as soon as requested one other tech to let Krystal stick me and she or he obtained offended and walked off in a huff.  We didn’t communicate for a number of weeks till I finished her, apologized, and defined that I used to be going by way of a troublesome sticking time and requested her to not take it personally.  We made up and had been “associates” once more.  However, it’s one thing I am going by way of each time I’ve to interrupt in a brand new tech.  For instance, one week I used to be on a special shift. My common tech wasn’t there so I had a brand new tech. The primary time, no drawback.  The following time, BIG issues.  Infiltration and bruising and tenderness.  The following time, digging and searching and calling on the cost nurse to assist.  OW!  I’m glad I went again on my common shift the subsequent week.  However, suffice to say, no Lido.  I endured.

So, lengthy story quick, no Lidocaine injection, irrespective of how a lot the needle stick hurts.  It’s nonetheless lower than the sting of the alcohol suspension of Lidocaine and there’s by no means sufficient Lido to make all of the ache go away.  If you happen to’re utilizing Lido injections, I encourage you to cease.  Focus on it together with your doc or an skilled tech and see what they need to say.

If in case you have some sage recommendation, please go away a remark.  Dialysis is new to many individuals and sharing your expertise helps!

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