Published online Jul 26, 2021. doi: 10.12998/wjcc.v9.i21.5921
Peer-review started: February 15, 2021
First decision: April 25, 2021
Revised: May 5, 2021
Accepted: June 1, 2021
Article in press: June 1, 2021
Published online: July 26, 2021
Painful experiences in newborns can cause both short- and long-term side effects. Newborns admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) are frequently subjected to procedures that will cause pain, which must be assessed and treated appropriately for its relief and well-being of the newborn.
To contribute to the knowledge of newborn pain and its assessment and management.
To define and assess the status of neonatal pain and pain management in newborns admitted to the NICU and to determine the knowledge of healthcare professionals about neonatal pain.
A search was carried out in different databases such as PubMed, Dialnet Plus, Cochrane Library Plus, Cuiden, and IBECS.
A total of 135 articles were found, and 18 articles were finally reviewed. Among the most painful and stressful procedures for NICU newborns were punctures. The methods used to assess pain were the observation of physical and behavioral alterations and validated scales, the most widely used being the Neonatal Infant Pain Scale. With regard to the knowledge of professionals, it has been observed that there is a lack of training on this subject, which is the making and carrying out of the correct assessment and management of pain.
Neonates admitted to the NICU undergo a number of painful procedures. It is essential that professionals have the appropriate knowledge to perform correct assessment and management of pain. This would require the development of protocols and multidisciplinary pain teams.
This document not only establishes the need for training of healthcare professionals to assess correctly and manage pain in newborns, based on evidence and not only on clinical practice or personal experience, but also the need for pain guidelines and pain teams to carry out quality care.