Use of a eutectic mixture of local anesthesia for cardiac catheterization in children

S. E. Fletcher, J. P. Cheatham, D. A. Danford, C. H. Gumbiner, A. B. Martin, C. K. Foreman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study was designed to determine whether use of EMLA (Astra, USA, Inc.), a eutectic mixture of local anesthesia in the form of 5% cream (2.5% Prilocaine and 2.5% lidocaine), decreased the pain associated with local lidocaine infiltration for the placement of femoral venous and arterial catheters during pediatric cardiac catheterization. Patients often relate that local lidocaine infiltration is the most unpleasant aspect of the cardiac catheterization experience. Twenty patients were enrolled in a randomized blinded control trial in a pediatric cardiology outpatient catheterization laboratory. All patients served as their own control. Pain response was evaluated using a recognized subjective scale from 1 to 5, with 1 being no response and 5 being crying. Twenty patients with a median age of 5 years (range, 6 months-17 years) were studied. In 18 of the 20 patients, subjective pain response was less in the EMLA cream-treated group, with no difference in the remaining two patients. Average pain response score was 2.2 in the treated groin and 4.05 in the untreated groin. The two groups (treated and nontreated groin) were significantly different to a p value of 0.01. A eutectic mixture of local anesthesia was effective in reducing the pain associated with local lidocaine infiltration. This new method of 'painless' local anesthesia is a useful adjuvant for cardiac catheterization and femoral vascular access in children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-197
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Diagnosis and Procedures
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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