The feasibility of using EMLA cream in pediatric outpatient clinics

I. C. Robieux, R. Kumar, S. Rhadakrishnan, G. Koren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


EMLA is a eutectic mixture of local anaesthetics, lidocaine and prilocaine, effective in alleviating the pain of venous puncture in children. The lag time of 60 minutes, which is necessary to achieve effective anaesthesia after skin application, may be an important obstacle to the use of EMLA. In this study we recorded the routine practice of six pediatric outpatient clinics which may use EMLA. Our data show a large variability in the feasibility of using EMLA: In the Hematology-Oncology clinics 85% of the patients could benefit from EMLA without prolonging their hospital stay; in the Neurology clinic the mean waiting time is 60.2 ± 45 minutes, and an additional 15 minutes would be required for only 26 percent of the patients. In four other clinics where the blood work is performed at the phlebotomy station, the waiting time before venous puncture ranges from five to 12 minutes and the use of EMLA would require major changes in the organization of the clinic, or a longer waiting time. In children suffering from chronic diseases, for whom painful medical procedures are a major cause of anxiety, the additional waiting time may be acceptable by both patients and their parents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-236
Number of pages2
JournalCanadian Journal of Hospital Pharmacy
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


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