Pain Control in Pediatric Oncology: Utility of EMLA Cream vs Lidocaine Injection in Lumbar Punctures
A common procedure in children with cancer is the spinal tap, or lumbar puncture (LP), in which a needle is inserted into the spinal canal. In this population, LPs are most commonly performed to collect cerebrospinal fluid (CSF, the liquid surrounding the brain and spinal cord) for diagnostic testing, and to inject medications including chemotherapy. Local analgesic (pain control medicine) during pediatric LP procedures is underutilized and not standardized. The first local analgesic routinely used for LP procedures was lidocaine injection. The discovery of the topical EMLA (lidocaine 2.5%/prilocaine 2.5%) cream, approved by the FDA for local skin use in pediatric patients, has provided an additional option for local LP analgesia. A comparison between topical EMLA vs lidocaine injection for LP pain control in the pediatric population has not been performed. Pediatric oncology patients often require serial LPs for diagnostics purposes and/or chemotherapy delivery. Due to a lack of standardization of LP analgesia in this population, the investigators have designed a prospective, single-blind, randomized control crossover trial to examine EMLA vs. lidocaine injection in reducing pain associated with LP in children being treated for leukemia or lymphoma.
• Pediatric cancer patients (aged 3-18) with a diagnosis of leukemia or lymphoma
• Patients are expected to receive serial (i.e. > 1) LP as outpatients in Charleston Area Medical Center Children's Cancer Center in the course of 12 months for diagnostic and/or treatment purposes