Why Your Fear of Needles Could Kill You | Incident Report 213

Dr. Amy Baxter is on a mission to relieve suffering. People blow off needle fear but could we be losing a generation to antivaccine attitudes because of a failure …



  1. I did ped phlebotomy for some years. Neonate all the way up. If I didn't have a patient come in with Emla (Yea it works even if placebo effect) and could not use cold spray, I found it very effective to just use my finger to press down on the skin at the very moment I inserted the needle. It was distracting enough the kiddos often told me they didn't feel anything. 😉

  2. As a mother and future FNP graduating this spring I found this interview extremely eye opening. I am pro-vaccine, to the point where I was that mother holding my down with the 2-3 MAs to give them 4 shots at a time without second thought. (Of course I comforted my children and praised them afterwards) but never did I think of the psychological damage I was doing in protecting them physically. Until my now 11 year old, who was due for 3 shots this year. Approximately 2-3 years ago yearly flu vaccines became an humiliating nightmare. He was fine until he saw the the MAs come into the room and switch went off, fear and panic took over my quit introverted child. He became inconsolable, screaming at myself the providers running around the office trying to get out, even kicking when we try to hold him down. Now as a nurse I was mortified at my child’s behavior, a child who typically doesn’t not draw attention or break rules. He did get his flu shots every year despite this however when we went for his well child this month I knew I had to do something to avoid mass chaos in the office. So I bargained with him and he agreed to one shot, now that he is older he we like to make things more a choice and help guide him to the right ones. But that meant he got one shot only that day not 3. Needless to say the HPV vaccine was left out. One I do want him to have so I made a future appointment. But I can now see why maybe parents without a medical background would let their children not get this despite it being the only real vaccine shown to help prevent cancer! Kudos on this topic and this research I hope to bring these findings into my practice.

    My question is though for kids like my son who have already developed this needle phobia does the buzzy still help? Because their phobia kicks in well before the shot is about to be administered. Is there any hope for children who have already learned this fear and reversing this before it becomes a complete avoidance of future medical care.

    Thank you.

  3. Love learning about personality. I used to instantly disagree when I was in younger years now as a 33 yr old I embrace my traits even the ones I don’t like because if you don’t embrace them you can’t change yourself for the better

  4. As someone non-medical with a severe, lifelong fear of needles, I love this episode! It's very informative and helps explain some of my thought process during the fear response. It was interesting to hear that kids who got the HPV vaccine went the nasal route for flu. My teen daughters recently chose to receive the injected flu vaccine in tandem with their other scheduled vaccine during their checkup. Meanwhile, I'm still working up the guts to get just one…

  5. I love to watch a provider give me vaccines. Don't know why, but I find it fascinating to watch each individuals technique and skill. I find that being a nurse, and knowing what exactly is going on under the skin certainly takes away from the fear. Interesting topic

  6. I had this phobia,. I take it back to allergery test at aprox age three. Poked…stabbed in my mind up and down both arms and all down my back while they held me down. I used to fear docs hospitals ect. Even the smell of hospital would bother me. It's a miracle I work in healthcare now (therapist no needles!). But I still avoid being stabbed whenever I can.

  7. Every person who had an issue with pain should watch this. Dr. Baxter you’re fucking amazing. Thank you for all the information you gave me that I can take along in my practice.

    Strong work Zdogg!

  8. Dr. Baxter is my new spirit animal. I aspire to be as smart and involved as she is when I finish my NP. Personable, intelligent, smart (not the same), and real. I personally do not like needles, but learned how to deal by deep breathing. My earliest remembrance is being held down and stabbed with the needle– causing horrible fear. Instead, I give patients injections by giving them time to deal and by showing them empathy by attempting to help them find their coping mechanisms too. Takes a little longer but people are worth it.

  9. Thank you for addressing this, Z! I have a genuine phobic response to needles. It started with a traumatic experience when I was 4 years old with an appendicitis scare. I get vasovagal response during blood draws and IVs. IVs are hell because they have to dwell under the skin for a long period of time. I understand the importance of these procedures so I don't avoid them. I've slowly done a lot personal work to help myself desensitize. I can get shots without fear these days, and I've gotten a lot better with coping skills, but I really want to continue to feel better. I look forward to listening to this.

  10. How does this needle phobia in the post 1982 generation fit in with the growing prevalence of tattoos? I'm 1949 vintage, and while I'm not wild about needles, I suck it up to the point of watching the needle go in when I have blood taken. I even did it once while donating blood just for the macho points. I get vaccinated not only for myself but so as to not be a vector. But I'm not up for a tattoo.

  11. I give my kids a lollipop or some sugary treat during vaccinations…. nice dopamine response. I'm hoping the association will be a positive instead of a negative.

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