The pain associated with IV insertion can create a stressful experience for ED patients. The objective of this comparative study is to determine whether the use of a topical vapocoolant spray (Pain Ease) prior to IV insertion would be an effective means of reducing pain and anxiety in adult ED patients.

Stable ED patients requiring an IV were included in the study, with some exclusions. 100 consented patients were randomly chosen to participate; Pain Ease vapocoolant spray was used on half of those prior to IV insertion. Data collection was done by ED nurses.

The same study questionnaire was used with 2 groups of consented patients, those with and without Pain-Ease applied just prior to IV insertion. The RN documented their perception of vein quality and the ease of IV insertion. The patient rated the levels of pain and anxiety with IV insertion. Patients who had Pain Ease used were asked if they would want the spray to be used for future IV’s.

ED RNs perceived minimal difficulty with IV insertions. There was no statistical difference in the comparison of patient pain or anxiety for IV starts with or without the use of Pain Ease prior to the IV insertion. Of patients who did have a vapocoolant used prior to ED insertion, 74% would like to have it used again.

Both the RN perceptions of difficulty and the patient perceptions of pain/anxiety scored very low, with and without the use of a vapocoolant. There is some benefit to the use of a vapocoolant, because 74% of the patients who did have it would request it again. While the use of a vapocoolant with all ED patients was not supported, it remains an available adjunct when needed to allay anxiety and discomfort.

Publication Date


Presented At:

13th Annual BHSF Research Conference

Content Type


Open Access

Available to all.