Effective management of procedural and postoperative pain in neonates
Effective and safe management of procedural and postoperative pain is important for children of all ages for humanitarian reasons and to minimize acute physiological and behavioural distress. In addition, reducing pain can improve both acute and long-term outcomes and evidence to guide pediatric clinical practice is increasing (1,2). However, neonates and infants are at increased risk of experiencing moderate to severe pain during hospital care (3,4). Further, specific evidence is required to guide neonatal practice and reduce the need to extrapolate data from older age groups, but implementation of current best practice is also an ongoing challenge. Guidelines and local practice protocols are increasingly available, and although variability in uptake continues to be reported (5), improvements have also been noted; for example, with increased use of opioid analgesia for both procedural and postoperative pain in NICU (6,7) and protocols for safe administration in the ward setting (8).