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Revista Brasileira de Anestesiologia

Print version ISSN 0034-7094On-line version ISSN 1806-907X


SILVA, Yerkes Pereira e; GOMEZ, Renato Santiago; MAXIMO, Thadeu Alves  and  SILVA, Ana Cristina Simões e. Pain evaluation in neonatology. Rev. Bras. Anestesiol. [online]. 2007, vol.57, n.5, pp.565-574. ISSN 0034-7094.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The study of pain has seen a great development in the last decades, making evaluation and intervention a growing concern among health professionals. The objective of pain evaluation should be to provide accurate data to determine the actions that should be taken to relieve or abolish it and, at the same time, to evaluate the efficacy of those actions. The objective of this review was to discuss the methods used to evaluate pain in neonatology, since treatment strategies used without systematic pain evaluation are not effective or adequate. CONTENTS: A widely accepted, easy to apply and uniform technique to evaluate pain in children, especially newborns and infants, that can be used in all situations does not exist. Before trusting the accuracy of the data, it is necessary that health professionals trust the instruments used to collect the data. Several indicators can be used to evaluate, quantify, and qualify the painful stimulus and, when analyzed as a set, allow the discrimination between pain and non-painful stimuli. Although the objective standardization of measuring pain severity is desirable, it does not exist. Measurement of pain in this age group is done by assessing physiological (heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, and etc.) and behavioral (facial expression, posture, and vocalization or verbalization) parameters using evaluation scales, each one with its advantages and limitations. CONCLUSIONS: The current concern with better methods to measure and evaluate pain contributed to increase the sensitivity of health professionals regarding the nature of painful experiences. Pain should be valued as the fifth vital sign and evaluated in a systemized manner, including in newborns.

Keywords : EVALUATION [Pain]; MEASUREMENT TECHNIQUES [Pain]; PAIN [neonatology].

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