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New Recommendations on Pain Management for Babies

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently announced an updated policy with regard to pain management in newborn babies.  Interestingly, they are saying that  painkilling drugs should be
a choice of last resort, and that advance planning is key to pain management in a given situation.

Instead of medications, the AAP is strongly advising that sensory stimulation should be used to help infants deal with pain.  This would include the use of breastfeeding, skin-to-skin contact, and /or visual, or auditory stimulation.  Gustatory stimulation-- i.e.,the use of aromas-- can also be employed.

The AAP goes on to say that administration of glucose/sucrose can be used during individual procedures, but does not recommend it as a continuous method of pain control. These sugars, when used as such, are considered medications, and appropriate monitoring parameters should be in place. Data suggests that opioids, such as morphine, have limited favorable effect. Physicians should be selective when using opioids in this very young, fragile, patient population due to risks of respiratory depression and hypotension.

Since sensory stimulation is the pain control of choice, parents can do much to help health care workers at bedside when neonates in pain need assistance!

Source: MedPageToday; Wikimedia


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