So for my random informational post of the week I’ve decided to feature one of my favorite tools in pain management… Buzzy!!!
What is Buzzy you ask? It is this great tool that child life specialists often use to help patients with the pain of shots. Often times it is one of the first things that I recommend with kids because you don’t have to wait for it to start working, anyone can use it (no doctor’s orders) which means that even patients can use it themselves, and it’s cute (that’s a personal bias though)
The way Buzzy works is through something called “The Gate Theory”. Have you ever rubbed your arm after you bumped it? That’s basically the gate theory in action. Your arm is sending messages to the brain saying “Ouch!” but when you rub the arm, it starts to send the message of “Something is rubbing me” which interrupts the first message. With Buzzy, the little bee does the rubbing for you by vibrating. In addition to the vibrations, you can add a cold pack to send the additional message of cold.
I use Buzzy mostly for pokes in the hospital, but you can also use it with burns or itches. Usually in a hospital setting I’ll use it for shots, IV insertions, and blood draws. For patients who have to do pokes at home for things like diabetes, I often introduce Buzzy to parents and explain that if it works for their child they can order one for him or her.
You can check out this video I found of Buzzy in action, along with the distraction cards that sometimes come with it. The distraction cards can be helpful through redirecting the attention, but you can also just ask the child questions!