Oral Glucose Solution as Pain Relief in Newborns: Results of a Clinical Trial

Authors

  • Ben Dilen RN, MSc,

    1. Ben Dilen is Adjunct-Head Nurse of the Neonatal Ward, Heilig Hart Hospital, Mol; and Monique Elseviers is a Professor of Research Methodology in the Department of Nursing Sciences, Antwerp, Belgium.
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  • Monique Elseviers MSc, PhD

    1. Ben Dilen is Adjunct-Head Nurse of the Neonatal Ward, Heilig Hart Hospital, Mol; and Monique Elseviers is a Professor of Research Methodology in the Department of Nursing Sciences, Antwerp, Belgium.
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Address correspondence to Ben Dilen, RN, MSc, Neonatal Ward, Heilig Hart Hospital, Gasthuisstraat 1, 2400 Mol, Belgium.

Abstract

Abstract:  Background: It was long believed that newborns could not experience pain. As it is now documented that newborns have all the necessary systems to perceive pain, pain management can no longer be ignored. The objective of this study is to investigate which concentration of glucose is most effective in reducing pain for venipuncture in the newborn.

Methods: This double-blind clinical trial of 304 newborns was conducted on a maternity and neonatal ward (neonatal medium intensive care unit). During at least 1 month, one of the four selected solutions (10, 20, 30% glucose, and placebo) was administered orally, 2 minutes before the venipuncture was performed. The pain from the skin puncture was scored using a validated pain scale (the “Leuven Pain Scale”).

Results: This study showed a significantly lower average pain score in the 30 percent glucose group (3.99) when compared with the placebo group (8.43). The average pain scores in the 20 percent glucose group (5.26) and the 10 percent glucose group (5.92) were also significantly lower than those in the placebo group.

Conclusion: Oral administration of 2 mL of 30 percent glucose 2 minutes before the venipuncture provides the most effective pain reduction in newborns. (BIRTH 37:2 June 2010)

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