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J R Soc Med. 1995 December; 88(12): 709p–711p.
PMCID: PMC1295423

The effect of temperature on the discomfort caused by topical local anaesthesia.

Abstract

The warming of local anaesthetic solutions to reduce the pain felt on injection is common practice in a number of medical sub-specialties. A study was undertaken to assess the effect of temperature on the discomfort caused by local anaesthetic eye drops. Tropical anaesthetics amethocaine 1%, oxybuprocaine 0.4% and lignocaine 4% were studied, and after the application of strict exclusion criteria 60 patients were selected, 20 patients for each anaesthetic. Each patient group received a topical anaesthetic at 42 degrees C in one eye and at room temperature in the other. A 10 point visual analogue scale was used to assess the discomfort experienced. No statistically significant difference was found between the discomfort caused by drops at each temperature for any of the three anaesthetics studied. There appears no benefit in warming topical anaesthetic agents prior to their use.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
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  • Finkel LI, Berg DJ. Heating lidocaine appears to prevent painful injection. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1987 Mar;148(3):651–651. [PubMed]
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Articles from Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine are provided here courtesy of Royal Society of Medicine Press