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Sensory Saturator Minimize Needle Injection Pain

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 20 Jan 2022
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Image: The ShotBlocker eases injection pain (Photo courtesy of Bionix)
Image: The ShotBlocker eases injection pain (Photo courtesy of Bionix)
A simple, non-invasive, and drug free device instantly reduces needle injection pain and anxiety at a fraction of the cost of other methods.

The Bionix (Maumee, OH, USA) ShotBlocker is a washable plastic pad that uses an array of blunt contact points to saturate the sensory signals around an injection site, distracting patients from the pain signals of the needle by utilizing the Gate Theory of Pain. The single-patient pad upholds a sterile environment during injection procedures, and also eliminates costs associated with resterilization, and is available in either 50 or 100 units per box. ShotBlocker is also available in a reusable form.

ShotBlocker blocks the pain of minor injections without using chemical refrigerant sprays, anesthetic creams, or electrical stimulation devices, and can be used for both intramuscular and subcutaneous injections. The device is positioned over the injection site, and the blunt contact points are pressed firmly against the skin. The shot is immediately administered through the central opening. After the injection, ShotBlocker is lifted from the skin and discarded, or given to the patient to retain until the next injection.

“I'm always trying to find solutions for patients to have the best experience in a medical setting. Getting shots can be scary, and sometimes painful, and I wanted to find a way to use science to make that experience better,” said James Huttner, MD, PhD, medical director and vice president of product development for Bionix, who invented the ShotBlocker. “If anxiety or pain is an obstacle for children to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, I think the ShotBlocker can make a real difference.”

The Gate Control theory of pain contends that non-painful inputs can override and reduce painful sensations, “shutting down” the final common pathway for sharp pain to the brain by exciting nerves that transmit cold and vibration senses, just as running a burn under cold water stops the sharp pain. The theory, proposed in 1965 by Ronald Melzack and Patrick Wall, offers a physiological explanation for the previously observed effect of psychology on pain perception.

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