Home » Health » Reproductive Health » It was widely assumed that infants felt no pain and they routinely underwent major surgeries without anesthesia up until infant pain was formally recognized in 1987.

It was widely assumed that infants felt no pain and they routinely underwent major surgeries without anesthesia up until infant pain was formally recognized in 1987.

Discovering Pain in Newborn Infants

Randomised Trial of Fentanyl Anesthesia in Preterm Babies Undergoing Surgery: Effects on the Stress Response. By Anand KJ, Sippell WG, and Aynsley-Green A. Lancet 1987; 1:243–8. Reprinted with permission.

In a randomised controlled trial, preterm babies undergoing ligation of a patent ductus arteriosus were given nitrous oxide and d-tubocurarine, with (n = 8) or without (n = 8) the addition of fentanyl (10 μg/kg intravenously) to the anesthetic regimen. Major hormonal responses to surgery, as indicated by changes in plasma adrenaline, noradrenaline, glucagon, aldosterone, corticosterone, 11-deoxycorticosterone, and 11-deoxycortisol levels, in the insulin/glucagon molar ratio, and in blood glucose, lactate, and pyruvate concentrations we… Continue Reading (1 minute read)

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