Minor painful procedures in extremely preterm infants admitted to a tertiary neonatal intensive care unit: Opportunities to improve pain mitigation

Nick Fulkoski, Zsuzsoka Kecskes, Tejasvi Chaudhari*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Aim: This study aims to characterise current pain management practices in extremely preterm infants (gestational age less than or equal to 28 weeks) admitted to neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Methods: Retrospective audit pertaining to patient characteristics, as well as minor painful procedures (MPP), pain mitigation and pain scoring in 25 extremely preterm infants admitted to a tertiary NICU in 2016 over the first 14 days of NICU admission. Opportunities to bundle MPP were identified according to pre-specified criteria. Bayley Scales of Infant Development, Third Edition (BSID-III) cognitive, language and motor composite scores were available from the neurodevelopmental follow-up clinic at 12- and 24-months of corrected age. Linear mixed methods regression was used to examine for correlation between increased exposure to MPP and BSID-III scores at follow-up. Results: Extremely preterm infants underwent an average of 11.24 ± 4.12 MPP per day for the first 14 days of NICU admission. Opportunities to bundle MPP were missed 75.98% (408/537) of the time; most of these were invasive blood collections. A total of 12.2% (481/3933) of MPP occurred within 4 h of pharmacological or non-pharmacological pain mitigation. BSID-III motor composite score was associated with an 11.75 (95% confidence interval 1.99, 21.27) decrease in patients experiencing more than or equal to the third quartile of MPP in the 14 days post-NICU admission (P = 0.0329, n = 42). Association was not found for BSID-III cognitive and language composite scores. Conclusions: There is readily scope for quality improvement initiatives to reduce harm in extremely preterm infants admitted to NICU.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)542-547
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Paediatrics and Child Health
    Volume59
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

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