Effectiveness of Oral Sucrose for Pain Management in Infants During Immunizations

College of Nursing & Health, Wright State University, Dayton, OH 45435, USA.
Pain management nursing: official journal of the American Society of Pain Management Nurses (Impact Factor: 1.53). 09/2012; 13(3):139-49. DOI: 10.1016/j.pmn.2010.07.008
Source: PubMed


This study examined the effects of oral sucrose as an analgesic agent during routine immunization for infants at 2, 4, and 6 months of age. A sample of 113 healthy infants were recruited from three ambulatory clinics and randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups. Infants were given 2 mL orally of either 50% sucrose, 75% sucrose, or sterile water 2 minutes before administration of immunizations. No significant difference was found among the different age groups with the different treatments for pain as measured with the FLACC scores and crying time. Consolability factors are felt to have some influence.

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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of oral sucrose in decreasing pain during minor procedures in infants of 1-6 months corrected age. A blinded randomized controlled trial with infants aged 4-26 weeks who underwent venipuncture, heel lance or intravenous cannulation were stratified by corrected age into >4-12 weeks and >12-26 weeks. They received 2 mL of either 25% sucrose or sterile water orally 2 minutes before the painful procedure. Nonnutritional sucking and parental comfort, provided in adherence to hospital guidelines, were recorded. Pain behavior was recorded using a validated 10 point scale at baseline, during and following the procedure. Data collectors were blinded to the intervention. A total of 21 and 20 infants received sucrose and water, respectively, in the >4-12-week age group, and 21 and 22, respectively, in the >12-26-week age group. No statistical differences were found in pain scores between treatment and control groups at any data collection points in either age group. Infants aged >4-12 weeks who did nonnutritional sucking showed statistically significantly lower median pain scores at 1, 2, and 3 minutes after the procedure than those who did not suck. Infants aged >4-26 weeks exhibited pain behavior scores that indicated moderate to large pain during painful procedures; however, there was insufficient evidence to show that 2 mL 25% sucrose had a statistically significant effect in decreasing pain. Infants should be offered nonnutritional sucking in compliance with the Baby Friendly Health Initiative during painful procedures.
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