A comparison of lancets and evaluation of various manoeuvres in reducing finger prick pain during pre-donation haemoglobin estimation

A. Dubey, A. Sonker, P. Agarwal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: Three different types of lancets have been compared to identify and implement the one that causes the least pain. Simple manoeuvres during the lancing procedure have been evaluated to determine their effectiveness in reducing the intensity of perceived pain. Background: Pre-donation haemoglobin estimation is performed by pricking the donor's finger with a lancet. Pain associated with the procedure causes fear and anxiety, which dissuades the donors from donating blood. Methods: In 100 subjects, finger prick was performed using three different lancets, and the subjects were asked to score their pain on a numerical rating scale (NRS). A further 150 blood donors were subjected to routine finger pricking for Hb estimation and were asked to score their pain on an NRS. After 15 min, they underwent a second prick with application of a manoeuvre (breath holding, coughing trick or looking away) and again marked their pain scores on the NRS. Results: Participants reported the least pain scores with lancing devices that have a spring mechanism to retract the lancets soon after penetration into the skin. Breath holding and the cough trick manoeuvre reduced the perceived pain scores significantly. Conclusion: Lancing devices merit consideration for routine use, and a simple manoeuvre may be applied to reduce perceived pain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-283
Number of pages5
JournalTransfusion Medicine
Volume29
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • blood donors
  • haemoglobin estimation
  • lancet

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