Easing pain and anxiety for children with juvenile arthritis

Helping young patients like Emie with juvenile arthritis | Nottingham Hospitals Charity

For some of our youngest patients treated at Nottingham Children’s Hospital, a little comfort can make the world of difference. 

Imagine the bravery it takes for a 9-year-old like Emie, who along with help from mum Georgina, has been managing juvenile arthritis since she was diagnosed at just 18 months old. She has been a true warrior, enduring a combination of uncomfortable injections and frequent blood tests – a routine that would make most adults wince!

Thanks to the generous donations from supporters like you, Emie's journey and those of many others have become a little less painful, a little less scary, and a lot more manageable.

The paediatric rheumatology department here in Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust cares for around 500 children across the East Midlands every single year, all of whom grapple with a range of challenging conditions including juvenile arthritis, uveitis, and systemic juvenile dermatomyositis. These conditions can demand intensive treatment plans, making the experience a challenging one for young patients and their families.

Mary Chatten, a Paediatric Uveitis Clinical Nurse Specialist working in the department at NUH Trust, recognised this challenge and had a lightbulb moment inspiring a small change that could make a big difference to patient care.

Mary applied for a grant of £1,146 from Nottingham Hospitals Charity, to fund 20 Buzzy Bees, which are small vibrating devices in the shape of a bee and have ice pack wings. When placed on the skin of a patient, the Buzzy Bees may look friendly, but do an important job! By confusing the body’s own nerves, the Bees provide natural pain relief by dulling sharp pain during injections and blood sampling.

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Buzzy Bees supporting juvenile arthritis | Nottingham Hospitals Charity

A natural pain relief to help our youngest patients

For children like Emie, it has turned what used to be a painful ordeal into a much more manageable experience. Her injections, which used to be a source of dread and discomfort, now take just a few seconds, thanks to the soothing buzz of the Buzzy Bee.

Emie said: "The Buzzy Bees have made my injections so much easier. I remember when I was little I had to be pinned down to have injections, I hated them! Now though they don't hurt as much, and I'm not scared anymore."
Buzzy Bees supporting patients with juvenile arthritis | Nottingham Hospitals Charity

Mary Chatten said:

“As healthcare professionals it’s a core belief that we should support our patients and their families throughout their illness trajectory, and these Buzzy Bees are a testament to that belief in action. This project would not have been possible without the funding from Nottingham Hospitals Charity, so a huge thank you to everyone who has donated.”

The positive impact of a small project like the Buzzy Bees extends far beyond Emie's story. These devices, thanks to generous donations from supporters like you, have brought relief and comfort to numerous young patients across Nottingham Children’s Hospital, helping them cope better with the demands of their treatment.

But there is still much work to be done, and many more young patients who could benefit from similar initiatives. 

By donating to Nottingham Hospitals Charity, you can help fund projects like the Buzzy Bees initiative that directly impact the lives of children facing chronic illnesses. Together, we can bring comfort, relief, and hope to these young patients and their families. Donate today and help other young patients like Emie.

Donate and make a difference for patients right here in Nottingham.

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