Some evidence exists that in term neonates, skilled venipuncture may result in fewer total punctures and less pain than heel stick. A Cochrane review first published in 1999 and updated in 2011 suggests that it may in fact be the procedure of choice in this population.
[ 3 ] However, these results may not be extrapolatable to preterm infants or infants who require multiple or frequent blood sampling.
[ 4 ] In addition, the development of newer, more effective, and less painful lancing devices may increase the relative utility of heel stick.
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.