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New Devices Take the Pain Out of Hospital Visits
The Wall Street Journal

Hospitals are taking the hurt out of common medical procedures.

Needle sticks in the vein, known as venipuncture, are performed about 2.7 million times a day in the U.S., and are often cited by adults and children as among the most negative experiences during hospitalization. Severe pain from broken bones can make it hard for clinicians to manipulate limbs for accurate X-rays. And just the anticipation of stitches and other invasive procedures can cause anxiety, especially for younger patients.

Now, new approaches are making it easier to avoid acute pain, including a needle-less blood-drawing device and topical medications that numb skin before a needle goes in. There are hand-held illuminated “vein finders” that project a map of veins under the skin to avoid painful repeat pokes and fast-acting nasal spray pain control drugs for fractures and other injuries.

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