An Evaluation of Efficacy of Balloon Inflation on Venous Cannulation Pain in Children: A Prospective, Randomized, Controlled Study

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Venipuncture is the most common painful event for a hospitalized child. We evaluated the efficacy of balloon inflation for attenuating venipuncture pain in children. Seventy-five pediatric patients aged 6–12 yr, ASA physical status I–II, of either sex, undergoing elective surgery were included in this prospective and randomized study. Patients were randomly divided into 3 equal groups of 25 each; Group I (control), Group II (distraction) pressed a rubber ball, and Group III (balloon) inflated a balloon. A manual venous occlusion was applied on the forearm and venipuncture was performed with a 22-gauge venous cannula. Pain was self-reported by a pain face scale with a 10-cm visual analog scale (VAS) placed at its back, where 0 = “no pain” and 10 = “worst imaginable pain.” VAS scores of 1-3 were rated as mild, 4–6 as moderate, and >6 as severe. Median (interquartile range) VAS score in the balloon group was 1 (3), which was reduced as compared with 2 (2) and 4 (2) observed in the distraction and control groups, respectively (P < 0.000). Significant reduction in the incidence and severity of venipuncture pain was also observed in the balloon group compared with the other 2 groups (P < 0.05).

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