A recent study performed in this department showed that a subcutaneous injection of local anaesthetic was significantly less painful than the insertion of a 22-gauge venous cannula. However, our colleagues remained sceptical that local anaesthetic infiltration would eliminate the pain of cannulation. Consequently a further study was undertaken to compare the pain of cannulation with and without the use of local anaesthetic. The results show that pain of cannulation is significantly (p < 0.003) reduced after subcutaneous infiltration with 1% lignocaine when compared to cannulation without local infiltration. Persistent discomfort at the site of cannulation was eliminated by the use of local anaesthetic.