Vibrating cold ‘bee’ provides pain relief for dialysis patients


Monday, August 3, 2020 – 3:04 PM Update: 03-08-2020 15:13


‘This offers a solution, especially for people with a fear of injection. The gem is already being used in the pediatric ward for young patients, but the Maastricht UMC + is now introducing it for the first time in the Netherlands in the dialysis department, ‘the hospital said.

Decent impact

Normally, the kidneys ensure that the blood is purified of harmful substances. If these organs no longer function properly, people have to rely on dialysis. For this, the patient can be connected to a dialysis machine that purifies the blood as well as possible in a number of hours. Patients have to go to hospital about three times a week on average, which means that it has a significant impact on daily life.

Thicker needle for dialysis

For the connection to the dialysis machine, two injections must be made in the arm each time, with a needle that is considerably thicker than a normal syringe from, for example, a vaccination. ‘Although patients are used to it, it is not a pleasant experience,’ says dialysis nurse Liesbeth de Boer. ‘Certainly not if you already have a fear of injection. That is why De Boer, together with colleague Elke Roox, took a look at the children’s ward at Maastricht UMC +. There, a small device is used in children with a fear of injection that has a narcotic effect.

Local anesthetic due to cold and vibrations

The device has the shape of a bee and, through a combination of vibration and a cold compress, provides pain relief while pricking. By simply holding the device on the puncture site for a minute, a local anesthetic occurs. De Boer: ‘You actually confuse the nerves very locally, so that the pain stimuli are not passed on.’ The first experiences are therefore positive and some patients swear by it, according to the dialysis nurse: ‘Sometimes it is those little things that can make it just a little bit more pleasant and we can reduce the fear of dialysis.’


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