Analgesia by cooling vibration during venipuncture in children with cognitive impairment

Silvana Schreiber, Giorgio Cozzi, Rosaria Rutigliano, Paola Assandro, Martina Tubaro, Luisa Cortellazzo Wiel, Luca Ronfani, Egidio Barbi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


AIM: Children with cognitive impairment experience pain more frequently than healthy children and are more likely to require venipuncture or intravenous cannulation for various procedures. They are frequently unable to report pain and often receive poor pain assessment and management. This study assessed the effectiveness of physical analgesia during vascular access in children with cognitive impairments.

METHODS: We conducted a prospective randomised controlled study at a tertiary-level children's hospital in Italy from April to May 2015 to assess whether a cooling vibration device called Buzzy decreased pain during venipuncture and intravenous cannulation in children with cognitive impairment. None of the children had verbal skills and the main cognitive impairments were cerebral palsy, epileptic encephalopathy and genetic syndromes.

RESULTS: We tested 70 children with a median age of nine years: 34 in the Buzzy group and 36 in the no-intervention group. Parents were trained in the use of the Noncommunicating Children's Pain Checklist--postoperative version scale, and they reported no or mild procedural pain in 32 cases (91.4%) in the Buzzy group and in 22 cases (61.1%) in the no-intervention group (p = 0.003).

CONCLUSION: Cooling vibration analgesia during vascular access reduced pain in children with cognitive impairment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e12-e16
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Children
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Cooling vibration
  • Needle pain
  • Vascular access

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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