Measurement of post-operative pain and narcotic administration in infants using a new clinical scoring system

Intensive Care Med. 1989;15 Suppl 1:S37-9. doi: 10.1007/BF00260883.


We developed a clinical neurologic and behavioral scoring system composed of 10 items to measure the post-operative pain levels in infants: (1) sleep during preceeding hour, (2) facial expression of pain, (3) quality of cry, (4) spontaneous motor activity, (5) Spontaneous excitability, (6) flexion of fingers and toes, (7) sucking, (8) global evaluation of tone, (9) consolability and (10) sociability. Using this system, a group of infants ranging from one to seven months in age and undergoing minor surgical procedures was studied. The infants were randomly assigned to two groups: Group I received Fentanyl intravenously (3 micrograms/kg) prior to surgery, and Group II received a placebo. The infants then were studied post-operatively in the recovery room at 30, 60, 90 and 120 min intervals. Over the entire post-operative observation period, 54% of the infants in Group I had satisfactory analgesia compared to 18% in Group II. There were no significant differences in Group I and Group II in oxygenation, carbon dioxide elimination, blood pressure, heart rate or temperature.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Fentanyl / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Pain / drug therapy*
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain Measurement / methods
  • Postoperative Complications / drug therapy*


  • Fentanyl