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Jornal de Pediatria
On-line version ISSN 1678-4782
CHERMONT, Aurimery G.; GUINSBURG, Ruth; BALDA, Rita C.X. and KOPELMAN, Benjamin I.. What do pediatricians know about pain assessment and treatment in newborn infants?. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2003, vol.79, n.3, pp. 265-272. ISSN 1678-4782. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0021-75572003000300014.
OBJECTIVE: to analyze the knowledge of pediatricians who work with neonatal patients regarding the evaluation and treatment of pain in newborn infants. METHODS: cross-sectional study of 104 pediatricians (out of 110) who were working during 1999 to 2001 in seven intensive care units and 14 nurseries in the city of Belém (Pará). The pediatricians answered a questionnaire about their demographic profile and their knowledge of pain evaluation and pain relief methods during the neonatal period. RESULTS: 100% of the pediatricians believed that newborns feel pain, but only one-third of them declared to know any scale for the evaluation of pain for this age group. The majority of the interviewees perceived the presence of pain in newborns by means of behavioral parameters. Crying was the preferential parameter to evaluate pain in full-term newborns; facial activity was the parameter chosen for premature infants; and heart rate for mechanically ventilated neonates. Less than 10% of the pediatricians reported using analgesia for venous and capillary puncture, while 30 to 40% said that they used analgesia for lumbar puncture, venous dissection, chest tube placement and mechanical ventilation. Less than half of those interviewed reported applying postoperative pain relief measures following abdominal surgery. Opioid was the most frequent medication for analgesia (60%), followed by midazolam (30%). CONCLUSION: these results demonstrate that it is necessary to refresh and update pediatricians' knowledge about pain assessment and relief.
Keywords : pain; pain measurement; newborn infant.