New Microneedle – A revolutionary way to draw blood painlessly
Nearly 10% of the world’s population suffers from an irrational fear of pointy things, sharp objects and, more importantly, needles. Trypanophobia is a very valid phobia that can affect a person’s medical wellbeing.
How does Trypanophobia affect people?
– The paralysing fear of needles can cause people to avoid doctors all together.
– People with this fear will also avoid getting inoculated, having their blood drawn for tests and getting other important injections that are beneficial to their health.
– This fear can also lead to the avoidance of getting surgery that may improve quality of life.
– This avoidance of needles can ultimately lead to health risks.
20% of those who suffer from a fear of needles avoid doctors altogether.
Are you suffering from Trypanophobia?
There are various phobias that all stem from the fear of needles. You might be okay with inoculations but fear pins. Perhaps it’s the pain that frightens you? Here are a few examples of the various branches of Trypanophobia.
Aichmophobia: The fear of sharp and pointed objects
Algophobia: The fear of pain
Belonephobia: The fear of needles in particular
Enetophobia: The fear of pins
Vaccinophobia: The fear of vaccines and vaccinations
What causes a fear of needles?
While very few people are born with the fear, it’s mainly a psychological issue. Traumatic childhood experiences involving needles can induce Trypanophobia. Most people acquire this fear around the age of four to six.
How do you overcome this fear?
Train your brain to realise that the pain will be over in an instant. Don’t avoid the pain, understand that it will come but it will pass just as quickly as it came.
Speak up. Tell your doctor or nurse of your fear and they will go out of their way to make you comfortable, distract you from the injection. In some cases a sedative can be applied in order to eliminate the pain entirely.
In the event that you have to draw blood, ask the person doing it to take all of the blood they require in one go. No going again.
Request that a qualified nurse or even the doctor inject you or draw blood. It can be very traumatic and painful if you have an inexperienced intern poking holes all over your arm while searching for a vein.
What is a Microneedle?
Various microneedle technologies are being tested and researched in order to discover a way to deliver painless vaccines Sahan Ranamukhaarachchi, a PhD student in UBC’s faculties of applied science and pharmaceutical sciences, has developed this technology to monitor drugs painlessly, vancomycin in particular. Vancomycin is used to treat serious infections and an intravenous line is used to administer the vancomycin. Three to four blood draws are required daily for monitoring.
This new microneedle comes in the form of a small patch that is pressed against a patient’s arm during treatment. The patch consists of tiny needles that resembles a hollow cone, less than half a millimetre long.
This ingenious patch does not pierce the skin as a normal hypodermic needle does and therefore researchers can painlessly determine the concentration of vancomycin using less than a millionth of a millilitre of the fluid collected by the microneedle. Perhaps in the distant future they will have discovered a way to eliminate needles all together.
Source: Science News Journal