By Laura Shin
Posting in Design
File this under "Why didn't someone think of this before?" A new needle makes all injections pain-free.
Instead of feeling a painful prick as the needle goes in, you watch it touch your skin but feel nothing.
That's how a revolutionary new needle works: It first injects you with a tiny amount of local anesthetic, which masks the pain inflicted by the bigger needle.
Okay, so the first injection is not entirely painless, but "virtually pain-free," says the BBC.
It quotes the needle's inventor, UK-based 29-year-old designer Oliver Blackwell, who says the first prick is "like a fly landing on your palm."
Still, the new needle is a big improvement on the current method of creating pain-free injections: "At the moment, if they want to use a local anesthetic they have to use two needles, find keys and go to the medicine cupboard separately and it all takes time and effort," Blackwell says.
Blackwell got help with his design, which looks like a regular injection needle, from two family doctors and a former president of The Royal College of Anaesthetists, who helped him make it easy to use.
While millions of people would love to for their shots to become pain-free immediately, the new needle must go through more tests before it can be mass-produced.
Till then, if you're petrified of shots, use this 11-step Wiki tutorial on surviving them without fainting.
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photos: Top: Blackwell's pain-free injection needle (Courtesy Plymouth University); Bottom: Blackwell, right, with his medical director, Dr. David Berger (Courtesy Plymouth University)
Mar 29, 2012
In the early 70's, the Navy used pnuematic injectors to do most of the immunisation shots. It used compressed air to shoot the vaccine into the skin. Not painless but not the pin prick of a needle. One downside was that occasionally the shot would cause a small tear in the skin and bleed a little. I have not seen or heard if this system is still used.
These mosquito-inspired needles vibrate and are highly serrated which greatly reduces stimulation of the nerves. http://scopeblog.stanford.edu/2011/03/mosquito_stinge
Anyone that has regular subcutaneous injections and knows anything about how the skin nerve system is laid out - knows that if you inject between the hair follicles and never into their base, you'll have a sensation free injection 9 out 10 times. Hair follicles are rich in sensory nerves - get near them as you inject and you trigger pain - hit one directly and it really hurts. The fact that most doctors and nurses aren't trained with this knowledge tells you a lot about how deficient our medical education system really is - but they do get special courses in how to minimize wasting time with patients and more efficient billing practies.
Dukhalon is correct. Also, novocaine, xylocaine or any 'caine that is injected to numb an area burns like a wasp bite. What is uncomfortable (in addition to the blood vessel with nerve wrapped around it and vein alonside) is the volumn of liquid that displaces tissues and puts pressure on the nerve. Having said all that, some injections are just plain painful. Gamma Gobulin tends to make you limp for awhile. Some need to be mixed with other drugs or something called Neut in order to neutralize the acid/base of the injectate. But the bottom line is this, do it fast, avoid areas known to us to be sensitive and move on. Life is hard sometimes we just have to knuckle up. And for years now we have been able to apply painless topical numbing agents before injecting tender young folks.
If You know where to inject, there is seldom any pain even with an ordinary needle. The secret is: stay away from the bloodvessels, because that's where the nerves are most numerous. And always use a new clean needle, used needles are both dull and a health hazard. Ask any diabetic for more information.
They worked good unless the corpsman thought he was stamping price tags on canned goods. The dragging motion is what caused the skin to tear. A straight on shot did no damage. I saw a captain rip a corpsman a new one after he walked into the clinic and saw a line of guys holding gauss on wounds from shots.
From a phlebotomist I knew. She actually picked it up from an acupuncturist she was drawing blood from.