Sunday, September 19, 2010

Research Highlights: Oral Sucrose as Pain Relief Found Not Effective in Infants

Oral Sucrose as Pain Relief Found Not Effective in Infants
By: Caroline Melhado

Oral sucrose, administered to pre-term neonates as pain relief for diagnostic and therapeutic procedure, may not be effective. An article in the Lancet found that when compared with sterilized water, sucrose showed no significant difference in nociceptive activity in the brain. While many studies have relied on visual clues of pain, such as the PIPP scores, the study conducted in University College Hospital used pain-specific brain activity as the sign of pain.

The trail was randomized to include 59 patients that were either given sucrose or sterilized water, administered on the tongue. All patients then underwent a noxious heel lance. Researcher’s primary outcome was nociceptive activity in the brain and spinal nociceptive reflex withdrawal. Researchers also examined behavioural measures and PIPP scores (observational pain scores for infants).

44 infants were included in the discussion of the trial. The results found no significant difference in the primary outcome between infants who received sucrose and infants who received sterilized water. However there were significant differences in the PIPP scores of the two groups. The discussion suggests that while it may seem that infant’s pain is alleviated due to observational clues, in reality it could be quite the opposite.

Researchers propose a much larger clinical trial to determine if results can be reproduced. Oral sucrose is currently one of analgesic methods available for nurses and doctors treating neonates.

blog comments powered by Disqus

TuftScope: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Health, Ethics, and Policy

TuftScope is a student journal published biannually in conjunction with Tufts University since 2001. Funding is provided by the Tufts Community Union Senate. The opinions expressed on this weblog are solely those of the authors. The staff reserves the right to edit blog postings for clarity and to remove nonfunctional links.

  © Free Blogger Templates Autumn Leaves by 2008

Back to TOP