Aspirations or Jamshidi needle biopsies (n = 287) of bone marrow were performed on children and adolescents with acute leukemia or other malignant disease following the use of a spring-loaded instrument that delivered local anesthetic in a jet spray; 89% of the patients were receiving chemotherapy, 12% were thrombocytopenic, and 23% of the 269 patients who were afebrile at the time of the procedure were severely neutropenic. None of these patients had an infection or a hemorrhage as a complication of the procedure. We conclude that not only is this procedure safe, but it is also much less painful than the traditional method of local anesthetic infiltration using a syringe and needle.

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