Comparison of Topical Anesthetics and Lubricants Prior to Urethral Catheterization in Males: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Authors: Siderias, John; Guadio, Flavio; Singer, Adam J.
Source: Academic Emergency Medicine, Volume 11, Number 6, June 2004 , pp. 703-706(4)
Abstract:Although male urethral catheterization in the emergency department (ED) is both common and painful, few studies have evaluated the use of topical anesthesia prior to catheterization. Objectives: To determine whether pretreatment of the urethra with topical lidocaine reduces the pain associated with urethral catheterization. Methods:This was a prospective, double-blind, randomized clinical trial of 36 alert, cooperative male adult patients requiring urethral catheterization, without allergies to the study medications or contraindications to their use, from a suburban university-based ED. Patients in the experimental group had topical lidocaine 2% gel injected in their urethras, whereas control patients received intraurethral lubrication only. Standardized catheterization with a no. 16 Foley was performed followed by pain assessment. The primary outcome measured was pain of catheterization on a 100-mm visual analog scale. Other outcomes included ease of insertion and procedural bleeding. Results: The authors evaluated 36 patients evenly distributed between study groups. Mean age was 62 years (range 22-85). Compared with controls, patients pretreated with lidocaine experienced significantly less pain of catheterization (38 ± 28 mm vs. 58 ± 30 mm; mean difference 20 mm; 95% confidence interval [95% CI] = 0.4 to 32; p = 0.04) and less pain of injection (23 ± 17 mm vs. 40 ± 25 mm; mean difference 17 mm; 95% CI = 3 to 32 mm; p = 0.02). There were no differences in the number of attempts and incidence of adverse events between the groups. Conclusions: Use of topical lidocaine gel reduces the pain associated with male urethral catheterization in comparison with topical lubricants only.
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 2004-06-01