If you’ve ever taken a child for shots or blood work, you know how stressful it can be. While you may have mastered the art of ice cream bribes or YouTube distractions so they cooperate, a trip to the emergency department may require more challenging and painful procedures such as IV fluids or stitches. Through Shore’s new Ouchless Pediatric Program, we can better minimize the pain and trauma a child might experience during a hospital visit.
The Ouchless Pediatric Program is the first of several initiatives Shore will roll out in its Pediatric Emergency Care Center over the next year, all thanks to the thoughtful generosity of Chris and Andrea Monihan and everyone who contributed to the Renee Parker Monihan Memorial Fund established at Shore in memory of their young daughter.
Some of the tools we’ll use in our Ouchless program to minimize pain and trauma include:
- Buzzy the Bee: Buzzy is a bumblebee-shaped vibration device with ice-pack wings that can trick the nerves, blocking sharp pain and distracting children during injections or other medical procedures
- Accuvein Vein Finder: Accuvein is a hand-held device that visualizes a map of the veins beneath a child’s skin to help make it easier to insert an IV on the first try. Because children get to essentially see inside their bodies, it can also be an interesting distraction during a procedure.
- Shot blockers: These simple plastic devices have many small, dull contact points that can be pressed around the injection site during a needle procedure to saturate the sensory nerves, distracting the child from the pain of the needle.
- Wound closing: When possible, we will use non-invasive adhesive glue or zip seals instead of stitches and topical pain control medications instead of injections.
In addition to these tools, Shore’s pediatric team has been trained by a Child Life Specialist on age-appropriate ways to reduce stress and anxiety, including:
- Comfort holds: During treatment, the child can sit on her parent’s lap and be held by someone they know and trust. This comforts the child and helps prevent the need for additional physical restraint.
- ‘One Voice’ method: One person – either family or staff – is designated to speak soothing words and help explain what is happening throughout the visit. The child can then focus on one trusted voice rather than being confused or overwhelmed by many.
Shore’s Ouchless Pediatric Program officially debuted Memorial Day Weekend, just in time for our emergency department’s busiest time of the year - summer. We are grateful for the Monihan family for the honor of helping so many children and families in our community, in Renee’s memory.