Needle Phobia

Brief hypnosis for severe needle phobia using switch--wire imagery in a 5-year old.
Paediatr Anaesth. 2007 Aug;17(8):800-804.

Cyna AM, Tomkins D, Maddock T, Barker D. Department of Paediatric Anaesthesia, Women's and Children's Hospital, Adelaide, SA, Australia.

We present a case of severe needle phobia in a 5-year-old boy who learned to utilize a self-hypnosis technique to facilitate intravenous (i.v.) cannula placement. He was diagnosed with Bruton's disease at 5 months of age and required monthly intravenous infusions. The boy had received inhalational general anesthesia for i.v. cannulation on 58 occasions. Initially, this was because of difficult venous access but more recently because of severe distress and agitation when approached with a cannula. Oral premedication with midazolam or ketamine proved unsatisfactory and hypnotherapy was therefore considered. Following a 10-min conversational hypnotic induction, he was able to use switch--wire imagery to dissociate sensation and movement in all four limbs in turn. Two days later the boy experienced painless venepuncture without the use of topical local anesthetic cream. There was no movement in the 'switched-off' arm during i.v. cannula placement. This report adds to the increasing body of evidence that hypnosis represents a useful, additional tool that anesthetists may find valuable in everyday practice.

Copyright (c) 2007 Seth-Deborah Roth
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