The Effect of Needle Bevel Position on Pain for Subcutaneous Lidocaine Injection

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It is a common practice for medical practitioners to use subcutaneous infiltration of lidocaine to alleviate the pain of intravenous cannulation or line insertion. Although previous studies have assessed several factors affecting the pain associated with local anesthetic infiltration, there is a paucity of data on the effects of needle bevel position. In this prospective, randomized, controlled trial, we compared the effect of two different needle bevel positions (bevel up versus bevel down) and the pain associated with the subcutaneous injection of 1% lidocaine in 50 adult volunteers. Significantly higher pain scores were observed when the needle was placed bevel down compared with bevel up (P = .02). No significant differences in pain scores were noted between the groups for age and gender.

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