Sunday, September 7, 2008

Not fair

Newborns treated in intensive care units are often prodded
and poked as caregivers try to diagnose and treat their ailments. Because
newborns are more sensitive to pain than older infants, and repeated early
exposure to pain may affect their long-term development and behavior,
researchers wanted to find out whether and how their pain is eased.
In observations of 430 newborns in intensive care units in
Paris, they found that each baby received an average of 12 procedures per day
that were considered painful. However, caregivers treated the babies' pain only
20% of the time. Caregivers were more likely to provide pain relief if the baby
was premature, if a parent was present, for surgery, during the daytime, and
after the first day in the hospital.
Researchers conclude that the standard of care should change
to reduce the number of painful procedures performed on newborns, and that when
procedures must be done, a baby's pain or discomfort should be treated

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