Background Acute pain is one of the most common adverse stimuli experienced by preterm infants. Those infants undergoing painful procedures in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) need help in having their pain reduced. 24% oral sucrose solution is a mild analgesic which is effective in decreasing short-term pain and distress during minor procedures such as heelsticks and venipunctures.
Purpose The aim of the study was to prove the efficacy of 24% oral sucrose solution as pain relief in preterm infants undergoing painful procedures.
Material and methods The sample comprised 58 preterm and low birthweight neonates who were hospitalised in the NICU of the Paediatric Clinic. The neonates received 0.5 ml 24% oral sucrose. The sucrose solution was prepared in our clinical pharmacy. The sample was divided into two groups: group A (GA) of 29 preterm infants, 25 to 32 weeks’ gestational age, birthweight from 950 to 1670 grams who received oral sucrose directly into the mouth 2 min before the painful procedures, and group B (GB) of 29 preterm infants, 28 to 33 weeks’ gestational age, birthweight from 1300 to 1730 grams who received pacifier dipped in the same amount of sucrose. The parameters that we observed were pulse, oxygen saturation and respiration before and after the procedure, and an evaluation was done using a premature infant pain profile (PIPP) scale.
Results MedCalc version 188.8.131.52 statistical software was used. There were no statistically significant differences between groups A and B with regard to the following variables: sex (p=0.96), gestational age (p=0.062), birthweight (p=0.78), using the Mann–Whitney test. No statistically significant differences were found in oxygen saturation levels (GA p<0.0001 and GB p<0.0001) and respiratory rates (GA p=0.019 and GB p=0.055) inside the same group before and after the procedures or between the groups. The only difference was with regard to the pulse (GA p=0.0074 and GB p=0.0001) which can be explained with a smaller sample.
Conclusion The study has demonstrated that the administration of 24% oral sucrose solution is effective as a simple and safe method of pain relief for preterm infants during painful procedures from single events such as heelsticks and venipuncture.
No conflict of interest
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.