itp poker club logo1Being diagnosed with ITP is scary for anyone, but especially for kids. And the scariest part for many kids are the relentless needle sticks that are now their new reality. Added to the many hematologist appointments, often surrounded by patients who have cancer, each day can become more frightening, lonely and depressing.

To help kids facing the trials associated with managing their ITP and the extreme fear of injections or needles—or “needle phobia”— that often results from treatments, PDSA has developed the ITP POKE~R CLUBSM  Designed to bring hope to kids coping with ITP, the POKE-R CLUB is an exclusive free clinical support program for PDSA members in the United States and Canada.

Buzz Away the Pain


At PDSA, we want to make sure each kid in our POKE-R CLUB faces the day with confidence to overcome the pain and fear of needles. To do this, we’ve partnered with MMJ Labs—developer of the drug free pain relief device known as Buzzy®. A palm-sized device combining cold and vibration, Buzzy pain relief has been shown to eliminate or inhibit pain by placing stimuli “between the brain and the pain.” According to clinical research, Buzzy used in combination with distraction methods can reduce IV needle pain by 50 percent.

poker kit1Research Shows POKE-R CLUB a Tremendous Success

In the POKE-R Club’s fourth year, PDSA set out to determine the efficacy and impact of the program on pediatric patients with ITP by presenting our findings to over 600 rare disease stakeholders at the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) Rare Diseases & Orphan Products Breakthrough Summit 2016.

Not only was PDSA selected to present “ITP Poke-R Club: A Clinical Support Program Bringing Comfort and Support to Kids Coping with Immune Thrombocytopenia” at the Summit, but our research poster was chosen as one of the top three abstracts out of 40 other posters—of which 80 percent were submitted by hospitals, prestigious research institutions, and pharmaceutical companies. As a result, PDSA was proud to be asked to provide POKE-R CLUB information to all conference attendees.

Research Poster Abstract Poke-R Club Flyer


Be a Part of the POKE-R CLUB

PDSA provides each kid in the ITP POKER-CLUB:

  • A purple velour drawstring pouch
  • 10 POKE~R CLUB chips
  • One scorecard
  • One BUZZY® device and support products with their first needle stick

Kids in the club receive an additional chip for each “poke.” By keeping track of their needle procedures on the scorecard, kids who collect 10 chips receive a special prize from PDSA. In addition, we provide a Program Overview with each kit with additional tips and suggestions for medical professionals and parents on easing pain and fears.

Learn More

poke-r chip

If you have any questions about the ITP POKE-R Club, would like information about becoming a member or program sponsor, please contact:

Jody Shy
PDSA Programs & Events Manager