Bionix ShotBlocker Overview
Does the thought of getting a shot bring on feelings of fear and anxiety for you or your patients?
It doesn't have to be that way:
Bionix Medical Technologies has developed an innovative solution called the Bionix ShotBlocker. The ShotBlocker aids both those who self-administer shots (such as diabetics) and healthcare professionals who regularly provide various shots to patients, in minimizing the pain associated with injections.
One of the most awesome devices to alleviate the pain from shots. We have patients coming in asking for the ShotBlocker by name, because of their prior experience. -Prithvi Sawh, MD
Shotblocker is a plastic, U-shaped disc. One side is smooth and the other side consists of numerous dull tips or bumps. When it's time for an injection, the disc is pressed against the skin, surrounding the injection site, where the many tips go to work activating your sensory nerves which serve as a distraction from the needle poke, essentially diminished any pain you may otherwise experience.
The ShotBlocker is available in several packaging options. You can buy a single disc, 5-pack or 10-pack. For larger quantities, the #8050 comes with 50 discs per box and the #8100 comes with 100 discs per box.
Features and Benefits:
- Numerous blunt tips have an instantaneous distracting effect
- Costs are cut in half when compared to expensive topicals and numbing sprays
- Suitable for most injections, both intramuscular and subcutaneous
- Suitable for self-administered injections and those performed by healthcare professionals
- Suitable for all ages, with the best results realized when used for ages 4 and older
- Very easy to use, with no learning curve or potential side effects
- Designed for single use, reducing sterilization costs and the risk of cross-contamination
- It can also be given to the patient to save and use the next time they require an injection
The Problem: The fear of needles is a common occurrence, affecting people of all ages. This can adversely impact a person's life because, in some instances, people will put off or even completely avoid the medical treatment and care they need because it requires receiving an injection. Topical anesthetics and freezing sprays have been one alternative in the past, however they come with a number of disadvantages. Risks and side effects of these anesthetics and freeze sprays may include: frostbite from over-spraying, changes to skin pigmentation, an uncomfortable or even painful experience, a lower resistance to infection and delay healing, skin sensitization, and long-term exposure can even cause liver and kidney damage. In addition to these points, the creams and sprays are also quite costly and they can take a while to begin working.
The Solution: The ShotBlocker is constructed with many small, blunt tips on one side of the device which is pressed into the skin. These contact points overload the sensory signals surrounding the injection site which diverts the patient's attention away from the pain signals that typically accompany a needle poke. The ShotBlocker was developed based on the Gate Control Theory of Pain, which according to the Encyclopedia Brittanica's article "Physiology of Pain," is the theory that most accurately accounts for the psychological and physical aspects of pain to this day. More on the Gate Control Theory below.
The Results: The ShotBlocker provides a simple, effective method to diminish needle pain and the associated anxiety. Not only is this product non-invasive, but it also does not expose your body to potentially harmful drugs or chemicals. It costs much less than alternative methods which saves money. Additionally, the effects are instantaneous and there is no waiting for creams or sprays to take effect.
ShotBlocker for Needle Phobia
In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, needle phobia is estimated to affect up to 10% of the population. This becomes problematic when this subset of the population avoids medical treatment because of their fear. On a much larger scale, the fear of needles is a major contributing factor to vaccine hesitancy, and thus presents a global health concern. If the pain of an injection is the dominant source of your fear, ShotBlocker may be the perfect solution to overcoming your fear of needles. Research studies and reviews from patients and healthcare professionals alike, both show that ShotBlocker is a viable option that really works. Please see below for more information from different medical studies and reviews.
I am a mother with a 6-year-old son and my recent visit to the pediatrician's office was a breeze! When my pediatrician first showed us the ShotBlocker I was skeptical. I dreaded bringing my child in for vaccinations because he was always afraid of painful shots. However, the doctor was able to keep my son calm and using the ShotBlocker he didn't even flinch! I couldn't believe it, this was the first time he did not cry. I bought my own and will bring it to every future visit. I highly recommend other parents give it a try. -Mother of Patient
What type of shots does it work for?
Shotblocker works on all shots administered to a muscle or under the skin. The medical terms for these shots are intramuscular and subcutaneous injections. No matter what part of the body is the target site of the injection, ShotBlocker may be used.
Injections that ShotBlocker is used for include, but is not limited to:
- flu shots
- allergy shots
- fertility injections
- growth hormone injection
- insulin injections
- among many others
Please note, some medications themselves cause a stinging sensation when administered. ShotBlocker diminishes the pain resulting from the actual poke of the needle, and therefore will not reduce any discomfort if caused by the medication itself.
How it Works: Gate Control Theory of Pain
Based on existing and new research, Ronald Melzack, a Canadian psychologist, and Patrick Wall, a British neuroscientist, worked together to create the gate control theory of pain in 1965. Their theory concluded that by stimulating nearby nerve endings that do not transmit pain signals (nonnociceptive fibers), it is possible to interfere with the signals sent by the fibers that do send pain signals (nociceptive fibers) to the central nervous system, essentially inhibiting pain. One example of this is when an area is rubbed, the level of pain is decreased. According to this theory, this would be due to the activation of the nonnociceptive fibers which impede the firing of the nociceptive fibers. If you have ever used a TENS unit, by placing the electrodes near the area of pain, this works in a similar fashion.
Notable Awards and Mentions
ShotBlocker was named along with other devices in the "Best Tech for Pediatrics: 2014," article, written by Andrew J Schuman, MD, FAAP.
Guidelines for Use (from the manufacturer)
- Choose the injection site.
- Perform any preparation of the skin as you would normally do.
- Press the ShotBlocker securely against the skin.
- The opening in the disc should be at the site of the injection, with the rest of the disc surrounding the injection site.
- Hold the ShotBlocker in place until the injection is completed.
- To be effective, the shot must be administered through the opening of the device immediately after it is placed in contact with the skin.
- Angle the needle as usual if required for a subcutaneous injection.
- If 20 seconds or more go by after initial placement of the device and you have not performed the injection, remove ShotBlocker and go back to step #3.
- Once the injection is complete, withdraw the needle and dispose of the ShotBlocker device.
There are a number of tips you may use to help create a more relaxing experience when receiving or giving a shot. First, educate yourself or the patient on how the ShotBlocker works. Explain to them that this device will mask the pain by essentially distracting them. Let them hold the device and show them what it feels like and demonstrate the steps you will take. When you are ready to begin, don't have the patient watch you administer the shot. Instead, have them focus on something else in the exam room such as a painting or your assistant. Lastly, don't be afraid to firmly press the device onto the skin as this allows the contact points on the ShotBlocker to create the necessary stimulation.
ShotBlocker Studies: It Really Works!
There are four studies that show the ShotBlocker has real, positive results.
Maumee Pediatric Associates
This first study was conducted in Maumee, Ohio in 2002 over the span of four months. 82 patients were included in the study, from newborns up to the age of 20 years old. After the child or teen received the shot, the parent was asked to answer a survey to determine the parent's perception of how well the product worked. Patients participating in the study received a number of different injections including TD, IPV, Prevnar, MMR and HBV to name a few.
The study concluded with the following results. Nearly 80% of parents believed the product worked "fairly well" or better. More than 60% believed their child was less distressed prior to the procedure. 85% said they would ask for the ShotBlocker to be used at the time of their child's next shot. Almost 90% said they would recommend the product to a friend.
Family Physicians Association of Flower Hospital
This study was conducted at Flower Hospital in Sylvania, Ohio over the course of 5 months beginning in October 2000. The study included a total of 99 patients with children as young as 5 years old through adulthood. Patients were administered injections either with or without the ShotBlocker. Both category of patients then recorded a self-assessed pain score on a scale of 0 to 10. Injections were vaccines including Influenza, Pneumococcal, Hepatitis B, Tetanus, and others. The mean age between the two ground was nearly identical, as well as the distribution ratio of males and females, and the injection site.
The study produced the following results. The patient group that was given shots with the ShotBlocker had a mean pain rating of 1.12 out of 10. The patient group that was given shots without the ShotBlocker had a mean pain rating of 2.29 out of 10. By using the ShotBlocker, pain levels were slashed in half.
St. Luke's Medical Center Department of Pediatrics
Ma. Abigail D. Guevarra, MD was the head of this study conducted by the Department of Pediatrics at St. Luke's Medical Center in Quezon City, Phillippines. This study focused on 119 preschool children with the goal of determining how effective the ShotBlocker is in pain reduction of a shot. Half of the study participants were given DPT injection with the ShotBlocker, and the other half without. The participants then reported their experienced pain level on a predetermined scale.
As shown in the graph below, over 93% of the group using the ShotBlocker reported mild or no pain. In the group that was given the injection without the ShotBlocker, only around 50% reported mild or no pain. In conclusion, it was determined that by using this device, pain scores were remarkably lower.
American Journal of Emergency Medicine
The AJEM published the results of a study that took place at an outpatient pediatric clinic starting in October 2005. 165 children up to the age of 17 were included in the research. Half received their injection with the device, half without. Unlike other studies, perceived pain scored were rated by nurses or caregivers.
Children without the device had a pain score of 2.6, opposed to the lower pain score of 1.8 for children given a shot with the device. Caregivers reported a perceived pain score of 2.6 without, and only 2.1 with the ShotBlocker. Nurses also rated the device as being easy to use.
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