Journal Highlight: Skin-to-skin contact reduces near-infrared spectroscopy pain responses in premature infants during blood sampling

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  • Published: May 2, 2016
  • Author: spectroscopyNOW
  • Channels: Infrared Spectroscopy
thumbnail image: Journal Highlight: Skin-to-skin contact reduces near-infrared spectroscopy pain responses in premature infants during blood sampling
Skin-to-skin contact between mother and child provides pain relief, measured with near-infrared spectroscopy, during venepuncture in premature infants.

Skin-to-skin contact reduces near-infrared spectroscopy pain responses in premature infants during blood sampling

Acta Paediatrica, 2016, 105, 376-380
Emma Olsson, Gunilla Ahlsén and Mats Eriksson

Abstract: This study investigated if skin-to-skin contact could provide pain relief, measured with near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), during venepuncture in premature infants. Ten infants born at 26–35 weeks of gestation were examined during a blood-sampling procedure with venepuncture under two different conditions: in skin-to-skin contact with their mother or lying in their incubator or crib. A double-channel NIRS device was used, and oxygen saturation and heart rate were measured using pulse oximetry. The infant's face and the pulse oximetry values were videotaped throughout the procedures, so that we could carry out a pain assessment using the Premature Infant Pain Profile-Revised (PIPP-R). We found a significantly smaller increase in oxygenated haemoglobin on the contralateral side during venepuncture when the infants were in skin-to-skin contact with their mothers, compared to when they were laying in their incubator or crib. When venepuncture was compared with a sham procedure, oxygenated haemoglobin increased significantly more with the infant in the incubator or crib than held skin-to-skin, but no significant differences could be seen in the PIPP-R results between the two groups. This study showed that skin-to-skin contact between premature infants and their mothers during venepuncture had a pain-relieving effect.

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