Background Healthy term newborns commonly undergo painful procedures during routine follow-up visits. Non-pharmacological strategies have currently become more important than pharmacological analgesic agents in neonatal pain management. Acupuncture is a new non-pharmacological method for preventing pain in newborns.
Objective We aimed to investigate the effect of laser acupuncture (LA) at the Yintang point before heel lancing as a non-pharmacological intervention for procedural pain management in infants.
Methods Forty-two term newborns, who were undergoing heel lancing between postnatal days 3 to 8 as part of routine neonatal screening, were randomly assigned to the LA group or the oral sucrose group. In the LA group, 2 min before the heel lancing, 0.3 J of energy was applied to the Yintang point using a Laser PREMIO-30 unit for 30 s. In the sucrose group, each infant received 0.5 mL of 24% sucrose orally via syringe 2 min before the heel lancing. Each baby's behaviour was scored using the Neonatal Infant Pain Scale (NIPS), assessed blinded to group.
Results There were no significant differences between the LA and oral sucrose groups with respect to means for gestational week of age at birth, birth weight, actual weight, or Apgar score. Mean procedure time was significantly shorter in the LA group; however, mean crying time was longer and NIPS score was lower compared to the oral sucrose group.
Conclusions Our results indicate that 0.3 J of LA at the Yintang point before heel lancing is less effective than oral sucrose for reducing the discomfort of this procedure.
Trial registration number KA14/09.
- PAIN MANAGEMENT
- COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE
- LASER THERAPY, LOW LEVEL
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