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Newborns in intensive care:
too many painful procedures

In the care of newborns, pain and discomfort caused by some nursing procedures could be better prevented.

It has long been established that newborns feel pain. And yet nursing care does not systematically manage or prevent such pain. A study carried out in France revealed the all-too-frequent practice of painful procedures (tracheal aspiration, pricking the heel) or unpleasant procedures (nasal aspiration, nursing care) that newborns undergo in intensive care. Around 40% of painful or invasive actions were not accompanied by pain prevention measures.

As a result, the teams that took part in this study changed their practice, increasing the use of simple pain-relieving measures (sweet drinks, comforter or "pacifier"), and reducing the frequency of some unpleasant procedures.

An exemplary evaluation of nursing practices and questioning of habits.

©Prescrire December 2008

Source: "Nouveau-nés hospitalisés : trop de gestes médicaux douloureux" Rev Prescrire 2008; 28 (301) 867.

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