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The efficacy of vapocoolant spray for reducing intravenous catheter pain in emergency patients

Trinder, Richie; Humm, Karen; Cole, Laura


Richie Trinder

Karen Humm

Laura Cole


This study aimed to determine if dogs and cats presenting as an emergency had improved tolerance of intravenous catheterisation following the application of vapocoolant spray when compared to a saline control.
A randomised controlled trial of client-owned dogs and cats presenting as an emergency and requiring intravenous catheterisation was performed. Patient signalment and mentation score were recorded. All animals were restrained and had their fur clipped over the catheterisation site. They were then randomly allocated to either have a swab saturated with vapocoolant spray (treatment group) or a swab saturated with saline (control group) applied to the clipped area prior to intravenous catheterisation. The procedure was video recorded from the point of restraint until placement of the catheter. A single blinded observer reviewed the recordings and assigned reaction scores (0-3) at 4 time points (initial restraint, limb handling, swab application and skin puncture). A Mann-Whitney U Test was used to compare the scores between the groups.
Between October 2020 and January 2021, a total of 100 patients (79 dogs, and 21 cats) were enrolled, with 50 in the control group and 50 in the treatment group. No significant difference in species, age, breed, sex or mentation score was detected between the two groups. There was no significant difference in reaction scores between the groups at any time point with the exception of a significantly increased swab application reaction score in the canine treatment group compared to the saline group (P


Trinder, R., Humm, K., & Cole, L. (2022). The efficacy of vapocoolant spray for reducing intravenous catheter pain in emergency patients. Journal of Small Animal Practice,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 20, 2022
Publication Date May 4, 2022
Deposit Date Nov 8, 2021
Publicly Available Date Jul 14, 2022
Print ISSN 0022-4510
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed


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