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How LET Treatments are Revolutionizing Pediatrics

Taking pediatric health care to a new level, Advance ER in Dallas, TX, is pleased to offer LET as a topical anesthetic to aid in the treatment of lacerations in children. Unlike the old practices still found in urgent care clinics and other hospitals where the child is held down and a compound containing cocaine is used to numb the site, LET is a revolutionary anesthetic that is shown to work well and wear off rather rapidly.

What is LET?

Made up of a specific mixture of lidocaine, epinephrine and tetracaine, LET is used on lacerations as a topical anesthetic. Lidocaine is commonly used as an anesthetic and it relieves pain. Epinephrine causes vessel restriction, commonly used to treat severe allergic reactions, and it slows down the absorption rate of the anesthesia. Tetracaine is a pain reliever that blocks nerve signals in the body. Lidocaine and tetracaine are metabolized in different areas of the body.

Together, the 3 components make an effective pain relieving compound that can be used in treating wounds, applying catheters or conducting other potentially painful procedures. “It’s a wonderful way to reduce the patient’s pain without having to use potent drugs that hang around in the system,” said Advance ER physician Dr. Alan Dennington.

Especially useful for pediatric patients, LET effectively numbs the wounded area and helps reduce stress in children. Children find it easier to remain calm for the remainder of the procedure after receiving a simple application of LET. Cleaning and stitches can be carried out more efficiently when the area is well-numbed and the child is relaxed.

“At Advance ER, our board-certified physicians have a lot of experience in working with children, and most of us have children of our own,” said Dr. Dennington. “We work hard to make sure they are calm, comfortable and relaxed and have a positive experience in the ER, while delivering top medical care.”

How does LET work?

LET can be applied to a cotton ball and held in place on a laceration for 20 minutes. Once the area is numbed, the care of the wound can proceed. Children are especially prone to head and face lacerations, and LET is usually preferred as a topical anesthesia for these sensitive areas, unless it is too close to a mucus membrane.

“Once the compound has been applied to the wound, we have about 20 minutes to work until it wears off. We can reapply it, if needed, but usually one application is enough,” said Dr. Dennington.

How else does LET revolutionize the ER?

In addition to providing a better topical anesthesia for children, LET has taken the place of the older compound, TAC, which was a cocaine mixture. The logistics of having to order, handle, store and use a controlled substance caused an increase in protocols in emergency rooms and doctor’s offices, which caused an increase in prices. LET has helped reduce prices by eliminating these extra steps.

LET stores for up to six weeks in the refrigerator, so it can always be available in the ER when needed. It can also be compounded in a gel form, which is more practical for facial lacerations.

According to a study, LET reduced time in the ER by almost 1/4th. An average of 77 minutes instead of 108 in the ER meant that patients were treated more easily and efficiently with LET.1 And for most adults, additional pain relievers are not needed. For 60% of adults, an application of LET was sufficient to relieve pain.2

Where can I get LET for my family’s medical care?

Advance ER is proud to offer leading advancements in medicine and LET is frequently our preferred method of topical anesthetic treatment for lacerations.

Our two convenient locations are open all day, every day of the year. When your friend or loved one suffers a laceration or is in need of prompt medical care, visit us in one of our locations for fast access to top quality emergency care.

Advance ER – the right care at the right place at the right time.

Meet Dr. James Alan Dennington:

James Alan Dennington, M.D., is board-certified in emergency medicine. He received his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwest Medical Center, Dallas, TX. He specializes in emergency medicine including wound care and closure. Dr. Dennington has been providing quality medical care for a decade for patients of all ages.

1 Priestley S, Kelly AM, Chow L, Powell C, Williams A. “Application of topical local anesthetic at triage reduces treatment time for children with lacerations: a randomized controlled trial.” Ann Emerg Med. 2003;42:34-40. Abstract

2 Adler AJ, Dubinisky I, Eisen J. “Does the use of topical lidocaine, epinephrine, and tetracaine solution provide sufficient anesthesia for laceration repair?” Acad Emerg Med. 1998;5:108-112.