Premature Babies Feel More Pain

The doctors at University College London have discovered that premature babies feel pain much more acutely than the infants who are born on time. Judging by these data, the doctors claim that different children require different methods of treatment and care.

According to the researchers, practical tests have shown that premature infants are considerably more sensitive to pain during injection, introduction of nutrients through a tube, and blood sampling for analysis. The experts believe that better understanding of pain processes in the infants’ body will help provide them with better and less painful medical treatment.

The doctors have made the conclusion about the increased sensitivity to pain in the process of carrying out various procedures and due to making the electroencephalogram of the infants’ brain. Now one can claim that the increased sensitivity to pain in premature infants is observed during at least 40 days after birth.

Dr. Rebecca Slater (UK), a pediatrician and the leader of the research, claims that today’s science is aware of all newborns’ increased sensitivity to pain, but premature infants’ sensitivity is especially high. As she says, the premature infants’ brain has shown normal response to all the signals, but the difference between usual and premature children is only in the reaction to pain. All tactile functions in normal and premature infants are the same, and the brain processes these data without any significant differences.

Premature babies need intensive care, they are in a critical condition, and the doctors will have to think how to reduce pain to a minimum.

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