Premature Babies More Sensitive to Pain: Study
Premature babies would benefit from better pain relief while in intensive care, report researchers who say invasive hospital procedures make preemies pain-sensitive.
Injections, blood tests, tube feeding and other treatments make preterm babies feel pain more acutely than healthy newborns, says a team from University College London, BBC News reported.
“Our study shows that being born prematurely and undergoing intensive care affects pain processing in the infant brain,” said Dr. Rebeccah Slater, lead researcher. “Our ability to measure brain responses to painful events will lead to a better and more informed approach to the administration of analgesia, and enable us to define optimal ways of providing pain relief in this vulnerable population.”
For the study, the newborns’ brain activity was measured with an electroencephalogram (EEG) while they underwent routine heel pricking to obtain blood samples.
The brain activity of preemies hospitalized for 40 days or more was stronger than that of healthy babies of the same age. This indicates that the premature babies are bothered more by pain, the researchers said.
However, the babies are not more sensitive to touch and can benefit from being held or cuddled, the authors said, according to BBC News.
The findings are published in the journal NeuroImage.
My Caleb a former 24 weeker is not quite 18 months corrected. He seems to be developing on track so far. But he only has a few words. He has been saying DaDa for his dad appropriatley for months. He still has not said mama for me, or up when he wants to be picked up, but his vocabulary has recently expanded to duck, side (for outside), and nana (for bannana). Our infant/toddler worker who has followed him since he came home, did an over the phone assesment with me and said that he does have some speech delays, but others are saying he is just a late talker. We are seeing a speech pathologist next month, doing some testing at follow up and trying to absorb conflicting advice from doctors. I know that he is at significant risk for developmental and speech delays, but then again everyone knows kids who did not talk at all until 2 or 3 years old. If he does have speech delays I want to help him as soon as possible, but if he does not I don’t want to push him if he is just not ‘there yet’ any advice?
My daughter was a 28 weeker with IUGR, born in November 2007 and due in February 2008. At the moment, we are trying to determine what to do about school: yes it is still a while away but if we were to send her to junior kindergarten at the right time, we would be signing her up next year at this time. She is still VERY small for her age (under 20 lbs at 27 months) and is also lagging a bit in a few areas (speech, possibly some fine motor) although she is starting to progress quickly.
I remember someone mentioning to me shortly after she was born that they thought we could send her later, not just joining grade one with the 2007 class (which is an option for any child, preemie or otherwise), but actually a year later so that she would be with her 2008 peers instead of her 2007 peers. Of course, I can’t remember anything about it now, and maybe that person didn’t actually know.
So, what is the deal, anyone know?
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