Need jabs can be given with less pain

PHOTO: Need jabs can be given with less pain

I have been a paediatrician for more than 30 years and read last Sunday's article ("No more jitters as jabs go needle-free") with interest.

There is an added cost involved in using the new kit that uses a jet of air to propel vaccines into the skin, which is supposed to cause less pain.

There is, however, a simple and cheaper alternative, using the traditional syringe and needle, that can be almost painless.

First, clean the skin with an alcohol swab and let it dry completely. Then distract the child before "throwing" the smallest gauge (27G to 30G) needle like a dart into the skin - this is what happens when one uses an insulin pen to deliver insulin for the treatment of diabetes, and is similar to how the new kit works.

With this method, many of my patients do not feel much pain and their parents do not believe it when I tell them that I have already given the injection.

I hope some of my colleagues will give this method a try and, hopefully, spare the children from much pain.

Letter by Lee Woon Kwang (Dr)

This article was first published on June 8, 2014. Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.