The Effectiveness of the Buzzy Device in Reducing Pain in Children Undergoing Venipuncture: A Single-Center Experience

Pediatr Emerg Care. 2023 Oct 1;39(10):760-765. doi: 10.1097/PEC.0000000000003011. Epub 2023 Jul 22.


Objectives: Needle-related procedures are among the most important sources of pain in children in different health care settings. Our study was aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of Buzzy (MMJ Labs, Atlanta, Ga.), a palm-sized bee/ladybug-shaped device combining vibration and cold, as a nonpharmacological strategy to manage needle-related pain in children.

Methods: In this single-center, randomized (1:1) controlled open-label study, we enrolled patients aged from 1 month to 18 years who had to undergo a planned outpatient blood sampling in Pisa University Hospital's Department of Pediatrics and randomly allocated them to either the BUZZY group (intervention group) or NO BUZZY group (control group). Pain was estimated using proper pain scales according to age.

Results: Between May 2021 and January 2022, 234 children aged 8.8 ± 5.1 years (50.8% girls) were enrolled and 117 were treated with the Buzzy device. In the study population, pain inversely correlated with age (r = -0.52, P < 0.001); the intervention group showed significantly lower pain (2.5 ± 2.4 vs 4.7 ± 2.8, P < 0.001) and no difference was found between boys and girls. Significant reduction in pain scores was confirmed when stratifying children by age (29 days to <3 years, P = 0.002; ≥3 to ≤8 years, P < 0.001; >8 years, P < 0.001).

Conclusions: The Buzzy device effectively reduces pain caused by percutaneous antecubital venipuncture in children in different age groups and represents a cheap and easy-to-use strategy to manage routine needle-related procedures.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Needles
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain / prevention & control
  • Pain Management* / methods
  • Phlebotomy* / adverse effects
  • Phlebotomy* / methods
  • Vibration / therapeutic use