We interrupt your schedule to bring you the latest Sensitivity Training...
I had quite a few cases today, but was reminded of an important aspect to any procedure that is performed in our laboratory: the proper way to give a local anesthetic.
Now the casual observer might think this is a minor issue - unless they're the one receiving the anesthetic.
Local anesthetics have revolutionized modern medicine: it is remarkable that I can implant a permanent pacemaker or an automatic defibrillator, or perform a catheter ablation procedure with the patient being awake, alert, and oriented throughout the procedure if necessary.
But the initial injection of the local anesthetic requires reassurance to the patient that they can get through the initial shock caused by the sting of the administration of the anesthetic, especially when working in the femoral triangle (near the groin area on the front of the leg where the hip joint bends).
What is said by the physician should be classified as "Green Light," "Yellow Light," or "Red Light" warnings (By the way, I have heard each of these used, so listen carefully):
"Mrs. Smith, I'm going to numb up your skin where we'll be working now. You're going to feel a little pinch and burn down here as the anesthetic goes in and then you'll be numb." (No over-dramatization, just the facts).
"Mrs. Smith, I'm going to numb up your skin where we'll be working now. It will feel a little bit like a bee sting." (I never thought bee stings were a mild discomfort. Hence, this might make the person unduly anxious).
"Mrs. Smith, I'm going to numb up your skin where we'll be working now. You're going to feel a little prick down here." (Wrong. Just wrong.)
Now, back to your regularly scheduled procedure...