Children do not experience pain in quite the same way that adults do. They have an intense emotional reaction to most unpleasant sensory input. They don't like it, and they are very much afraid of it. Since they do not understand, and do not want to understand why they should go through a painful experience, they fight it. They kick. They scream. The episode is nerve wracking and upsetting for everyone.
Drawing blood is an example of the kind of painful experience that makes kids run for the door as soon as they see the white coats. But it doesn't have to be that way. Traditionally, blood for laboratory testing is drawn from a vein, usually in the arm. A long needle is used to draw the blood, once the vein is located. Locating the vein means probing around in the arm with the needle. Because of their subcutaneous fat, veins in children are difficult to find. Sometimes multiple sticks are required, which is very traumatic for the child.
What are the advantages of microsampling over venipuncture?
Monitoring of blood sugars is one of the most common tests performed daily with microsampling, but definitely not the only one. Microsampling is used for testing blood levels of drugs such as antibiotics, anti-seizure medications, antidepressants, and psychiatric drugs to determine whether the level is therapeutic, as well as testing for genetic abnormalities, lead contamination, etc.
A child's experience as a patient can affect his or her whole life. Let's try to improve that experience by taking some of the pain and fear out of it.