Pain Management in Neonates and Children

  • M. Astuto


Until about 10 years ago, newborns and children were considered to be relatively unable to feel pain, and that even if they could they would not remember it [1]. Recently, more studies have shown that children, including newborns, do feel stress and perceive noxious stimuli as painful. By measuring heart rate, oxygen stturation, mean arterial pressure, and behavioral response [2], it has been shown that newborns respond to painful stimuli, similar to adults. Therefore, we have to implement pain measurement for all children who are potentially in pain, and improved research and education on the causes, prevention, and short-term and long-term effects of pain and analgesia: these are priorities. Currently diagnostic and surgical procedures are required for the survival of critically ill newborn babies, and the possible pain generated by such procedures has been a source of concern. However, in normal practice a specific analgesic or anesthetic treatment is used only for the problematic infants undergoing painful procedures, normally most infants are given a nonspecific analgesia and some infants nothing or only one dose of analgesics [3].


Pain Management Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Motor Block Painful Procedure Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Stay 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Astuto
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care, Pediatric Anesthesia and Intensive Care SectionCatania University HospitalCataniaItaly

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