What is the Least Painful Method of Anesthetizing a Peripheral IV Site?

ABSTRACT The placement of an intravenous (IV) catheter for the administration of fluids, blood products, and medications is a common intervention for surgical procedures and perianesthesia patients. Although the placement of a peripheral IV may be routine for perianesthesia nurses, it is important to address the patient's level of pain related to the procedure. One technique to diminish the discomfort associated with the IV insertion is anesthetizing the site. The purpose of this study was to compare three methods for anesthetizing peripheral IV catheter sites before insertion to determine which method provides optimal patient comfort during the anesthetizing and IV catheter insertion process. The findings demonstrate that there was no statistical difference in pain when anesthetizing the site using the three methods. However, there was a difference with the IV insertion process. Using 1% lidocaine resulted in the least painful IV insertion.