Addressing COVID-19 Injection Pain Could Save Lives

Amy Baxter MD

Dr. Amy Baxter, Medical Doctor and Pain Researcher

Research Indicates Prevalent Injection Fears Could Jeopardize COVID-19 Vaccination Adherence

Identifying anxiety and reducing pain with the first injection could dramatically improve the second COVID19 vaccine uptake by as much as 35% and help save lives.”

— Amy Baxter, MD FAAP FACEP, Founder & CEO of Pain Care Labs

ATLANTA, GA, USA, December 21, 2020 /EINPresswire.com/ — Pain Care Labs, the industry leader in non-invasive, drug-free pain solutions, released data today demonstrating how injection pain, fear and fainting sensations impact needle procedure compliance. With polls reporting that 44-49% of Americans will choose not to get the vaccine and over one in four Americans impacted by a fear of needles, the public health plan for eradicating the COVID-19 virus is at risk if pain management is not included in the rollout.

According to Amy Baxter, MD FAAP FACEP, Founder & CEO of Pain Care Labs, “Fear of needles is the most underestimated challenge we face when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccination plan for success. To help mitigate this risk, we must consider pain management as a core component of the overall public health plan and do everything we can to make sure the majority of Americans choose to receive both the first and second shots of the vaccine.”

As an emergency pediatric medicine physician at UT Southwestern Medical Center and founder and director of PEMA Emergency Research at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Dr. Baxter saw first-hand how the fear of injections among children negatively impacted medication and vaccination adherence rates. This experience drove her to research alternative pain management solutions more than 20 years ago. Independent research on the device she developed support that her unique combination of mechanical oscillation and cold eliminate adult vaccine pain in 84% of patients and reduce pediatric pain 74%. Federally funded for pain management work, she patented her technology and launched Pain Care Labs flagship product, Buzzy®, nearly 15 years ago.

Dr. Baxter’s extensive research indicates that the fear of needles has increased 252% during the past 30 years primarily due to the addition of same-day booster shots to the vaccine schedule in 1983. Incorporating the well-cited body of work evaluating the impact of needle pain and fainting on blood donation conducted by Dr. Chris France, Dr. Baxter estimates that 12% of the population will refuse the initial shot of the COVID-19 vaccine due to needle pain avoidance. Subsequently, 40% would not return for the second shot due to needle pain or fear.

By France’s work, the pain of the needle reduced satisfaction 24% and increased fainting feelings 28%, which reduced satisfaction 28%. Since pain directly and indirectly contributed to the avoidance repeat donation reducing pain with the first COVID vaccine could reduce nonadherence with the second by about 35%.

“Identifying anxiety and reducing pain with the first injection could dramatically improve the second COVID-19 vaccine uptake by as much as 35% and help save lives,” added Dr. Baxter. “There are multiple approaches to addressing established and existing needle fear, including improved control, managing expectations with education, smiling during the injection, reducing the focus on the injection through mental distraction, and most effectively, gate control through cold and mechanical stimulation.”

To date, Buzzy is the only pharmaceutical or medical device proven effective for adolescent or adult IM injections, the only intervention proven effective for fear reduction, and the overwhelmingly most studied and effective intervention for pediatric injections.

“Research on improving the adult vaccine experience really has not been a public health focus,” says Baxter, “Until now. Fortunately, we can extrapolate from a large body of adjacent literature to inform the decisions we make to speed herd immunity now.”

Pain Care Labs Buzzy®, a patented pain relief device, optimizes “gate control” pain relief by mechanically stimulating large fiber sensation nerves to overwhelm small pain nerves. The proprietary frequency of mechanical vibration combined ice to target another neural feedback path to dull or eliminate sharp pain. Buzzy has proven to reduce fear 50%, and has been used to control needle pain for more than 37 million needle procedures. Over 50 independent clinical research trials indicate pain reduction of approximately 73% in children, and 84% in adults. A CDC pilot also found no patient receiving an HPV vaccine had vasovagal symptoms (fainting) while using Buzzy, while 1/10 of those who didn’t felt faint.

To learn more about Dr. Baxter’s research, visit https://paincarelabs.com/research and recently published paper, “Addressing Needle Dread, Fear, and Phobia.”

Pain Care Labs is the industry leader in noninvasive pain relief solutions. Buzzy® has been used to block pain for over 37 million needle procedures. VibraCool® is an FDA registered 510(k) cleared device to treat myofascial pain caused by trigger points, restricted motion, and muscle tension. Established in 2006 by emergency physician and pain researcher Amy Baxter M.D., the Company is dedicated to effective, reusable, and affordable solutions for pain. The Company’s award-winning solutions are based on patented Oscillice® M-Stim® , a mechanical stimulation/thermal neuromodulation platform. Pain Care Labs was named “Industry Leader for Localized Pain Relief” by Frost & Sullivan, a leading market research firm. For more information, including a list of published studies, please visit PainCareLabs.com.

Leisha Richardson
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