Oct 14, 2021

How to help aged care residents overcome a phobia of needles

Needle phobia

Australian-headquartered NeedleCalm™ has launched a breakthrough Australian medical device assisting with the reduction of needle-associated pain with injection, immunisation, venepuncture and catheterisation procedures often associated with vaccinations, blood donations and tests, and cancer treatment.

This includes helping treat Trypanophobia – the fear of needles – as defined by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in the Blood Injury and Injections (BII) category.

NeedleCalm™  works by using a medical technique referred to as ‘closing the gate’ between the needle injection site in the arm and pain receptors in the brain.

The Class 1 medical device recently received Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approval and was developed in part with support from the NSW Government’s Minimum Viable Product Grant program and Federal Government’s Industry Growth Centres Initiative (MTPConnect).

NeedleCalm™ is Australian-owned and manufactured and can be used in over 60% of Australia’s approximately 128 million needle procedures carried out annually. It can be used at various injection sites across the body, including – but not limited to – arms, abdomens, buttocks and thighs.

Lauren Barber, CEO and Founder of NeedleCalm, said the company and its products had an opportunity to play a pivotal role in ensuring Australia – and other countries – overcomes key barriers to achieving herd immunity against infectious diseases, including COVID-19, as well as other critical healthcare avoidance.

“It’s exciting that we have the opportunity to help Australia close the gate on COVID-19 and launch our years of hard work in real time in one of the largest mass public vaccination campaigns of our time,” Ms Barber said.

“We expect that number to grow with the additional 50 million-plus vaccinations being rolled out for COVID-19 specifically this year.

“It’s easy to dismiss needle phobias, but they affect approximately 25% of Australians, while a local study found one in five patients with a fear of needles reported avoiding healthcare.

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