Saturday, October 18, 2008

Injections/blood taking DO NOT have to be a nightmare…

How to reduce pain in a patient when injecting /taking blood /inserting cannula? (for patients)

Aichmophobia- Fear of needles or pointed objects.

Injections/blood taking DO NOT have to be a nightmare…

I know the needle can be the scariest object in the world. It scares me too, sometimes, when I am at the receiving end. Honestly, I do have a very low threshold to pain. (which explains the way I abuse pain killers, but that’s another story).

There was once, i twisted my foot. The staff nurse inserted a cannula on my left hand. I was asked to get an xray of my foot at the radiology department. Upon arrival, i must have looked so in pain, that the radiologist thought i needed an x-ray of my arm (being surprised to see that the form requested for a right foot xray). I explained to him that it was the cannula. and yes, it was more painful that my sprained foot. So, since then, i developed some relaxation techniques to reduce pain during such procedures.

REMEMBER: Injections/blood taking DO NOT have to be a nightmare...

So, today, I shall blogged about how blood taking/injections can be less painful, or in simple words, how to overcome needlephobia (fear of needles):

1. RELAX. Tensed muscle makes it more difficult, especially the body naturally reacts by constricting the vessels.

2. TRUST your doctor. Fear and anxiety can amplify the pain intensity.

3. DO NOT LOOK at the needle / the syringe. Why choose to scare yourself?

4. DISTRACT YOURSELF. I like to talk to my doctor. I usually prefer my friend, Natalie to take blood for me. She’s very good at taking blood, almost minimal pain, I would say. She would distract me by asking what I did today, what I had for exams, etc...

5. Otherwise, THINK HAPPY THOUGHTS. Imagine yourself, in a garden, serene, surrounded by flowers. The breeze, cool and refreshing. The sun shining from above, reassuring. A butterfly flew down and lingers on your hand. It bit your hand, but it’s okay. You stared at its beautiful colorful wings, mesmerized by God’s creation.

6. Otherwise, try doing the minus 7 series… subtract 7 from 100 repeatedly (eg. 100-7 =93, 93-7 =86, 86-7 = 71, etc...) it’ll all be over even before you finish

7. Throughout the process, BREATHE IN AND OUT~ remain CALM at all time, find your ‘chi’...


9. At the end of everything, say ‘ Thank you, Doctor’. I know, this does not relieve the pain, but it feels good to hear that, hehe... =)

10. If all fails, there's always the lignocaine (local analgesia) patch for injections.. but i'm not sure about the price...

11. Other workable methods: hold a friend's hand, try ear piercings (the feeling is quite similar)

12. bet with your friend that you are not scare and stare at the needle while it sucks all the blood out (suggested by peanut)

13. try to ask for a lenglui/lengzai nurse/doctor if there is any! (suggested by peanut)

14. i tried LOOKING at my injection site when the doctor or the nurse poke or withdraw blood from me....then take few breaths, inhale and exhale fear has gone! (suggested by chiiliyeow)

15. (open for any other suggestions)

I hope these tips would be useful to you, the next time you see your doctor for an injection / blood taking/ cannula insertion :) *all the best*


  1. i have 7 piercings, 5 on my ear, a navel piercing and i used to have a pierced tongue.

    but everytime i see a doctor holding that syringe, i thk my balls just disappear.

  2. haha! i personally think that piercings are more painful than blood taking/ injections... the pain in piercings can last for days.. i had a helix piercing, and it took a few days to heal... :( i dare not try a navel piercing though, as the infection risk is high... glad yours went well ^^

  3. make me think back..its kinda creepy to have those huge injection..ooouucchhhh

  4. im sooo bloody scared of needles. but i know i had to do it when it is needed. so these tips surely help...actually it is what i have been doing everytime the 'nasty' doctor trying to inject me ;) - poh lin

  5. thanks 4 d tips. maybe i can 'cilok' and put it in my blog? i'll link back to ur blog. pleaseeee (",)y

  6. From my experience, those working in the blood test lab have better skill than doctor when it comes to taking blood

  7. >pohlin, i know, needles can be scary.. glad you have found your way to overcome it.. btw, the dr wasn't trying to be nasty, they were just doing their job :(

    >magma3637, -hak cipta terpelihara- haha! just kidding.. sure, go ahead, put it in your blog :) i do not mind.. it's good to spread the message.... hope it could help your readers too ^^

    >borneo falcon, that's very true.. some lab physicians, staff nurse and medical attendants can take blood better than junior doctors.. because that's what they do everyday, they are sometimes more experience... once, i saw a midwife inserting a cannula on a pregnant patient whose veins were not straight.. she actually straightened the 'senget' vein with the cannula, and i was so impressed! and the line was functional!! *salute*

  8. addition for no.12

    bet with your friend that you are not scare and stare at the needle while it sucks all the blood out.

    add no.13

    try to ask for a lenglui/lengzai nurse/doctor if there is any!

  9. Hi..i did have this phobia..after i tried to overcome it by LOOKING at my injection site when the doctor or the nurse poke or withdraw blood from me....then take few breaths, inhale and exhale fear has gone! but this is quite individual...:)

  10. needle is my best friend!

  11. >peanut>> haha! i've added those suggestions.... but the lenglui/lengjai dr/sn got work meh?

    >chiiliyeow>> that's very brave of you to look at the injection site.. i've added that to tip #14 ^^ not everyone is that brave though.. hehe..

    >keong>> why is needle your best friend? you sounded almost like an IVDU.. (IntraVenous Drug User) haha! no offense..

  12. lenglui lengzai doc / nurse can redirect concentration mar.. hahahhaa...

  13. what a good reason to demand for a lenglui lengzai doc / nurse, haha!


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