Neonatal pain management has made a great step forward over the last several years. Despite the drafting of International guidelines, an under-treatment of neonatal pain is still reported” Bellieni et al (2017).
PURPOSE: Neonatal pain management has made a great step forward over the last several years. Despite the drafting of International guidelines, an under-treatment of neonatal pain is still reported.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Medical and paramedical personnel working in 5 Italian NICUs were asked to complete a questionnaire about pain management. The questionnaire was comprised of three sections: (i) brief explanation of the purpose; (ii) demographic information, including age, profession, religious beliefs, and hospital level; (iii) questionnaire about pain management and prevention.
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RESULTS: One-hundred and forty caregivers participated in this study. Non-pharmacological analgesia during heel prick or venipuncture was used by 64% and 60% of them, respectively; topical analgesia was performed in 13% of venipunctures; no analgesia was used in 30% of cases for both heel prick and venipuncture. In the case of lumbar puncture, 35% of participants used topical analgesia, 15% non-pharmacological approach, 10% opioids and 6% intravenuous paracetamol. While 65% of participants gave a score of 4 out of 5 about the importance of pain treatment, 39% of them reported that in their department no pain scales were used.
CONCLUSIONS: Pain treatment in these NICUs is still far to be optimal. This nonetheless reflects a worldwide trend, which requires more attention on pain prevention, assessment and treatment.
Bellieni, C.V., Tei, M., Cornacchione, S., Di Lucia, S., Nardi, V., Verrotti, A. and Buonocore, G. (2017) Pain perception in NICU: a pilot questionnaire. The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine. May 17th. [Epub ahead of print].
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