Procedural pain guidelines for the newborn in the United Kingdom

J Perinatol. 2008 Feb;28(2):107-11. doi: 10.1038/ Epub 2007 Sep 13.


Objective: To assess the use of analgesia guidelines for newborn infants in the United Kingdom.

Study design: Postal questionnaire to every neonatal unit in the United Kingdom.

Result: A total of 192 of 244 units replied (78.7% response). Most units had a guideline for elective intubation (70%), sedation for ventilation (78%) post-operative pain (when appropriate) (74%). Less prevalent were guidelines for painful minor procedures (35%). Only 33% of units gave a sweet-tasting solution for analgesia before routine painful procedures and 12% used a topical anesthetic cream.

Conclusion: Since the last survey in 2000 there has been a modest increased uptake in measures to prevent pain neonatal pain in the United Kingdom, but no pain guideline was present in almost 25% of units and no guideline for routine painful procedures in the majority.

MeSH terms

  • Analgesia / standards*
  • Conscious Sedation
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Nurseries, Hospital / standards*
  • Respiration, Artificial
  • Sweetening Agents
  • United Kingdom


  • Sweetening Agents