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Exposure to invasive procedures in neonatal intensive care unit admissions.
  1. D. P. Barker,
  2. N. Rutter
  1. Department of Neonatal Medicine and Surgery, Nottingham City Hospital.


    The nature and numbers of invasive procedures were studied in 54 consecutive infants admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit. Over 3000 procedures were recorded, 74% in infants below 31 weeks of gestation. One infant (23 weeks' gestation, birth weight 560 g) underwent 488 procedures. Heel prick blood sampling was the most common procedure (56%), followed by endotracheal suction (26%) and intravenous cannula insertion (8%). Invasive procedures which would cause pain or distress to a child are frequently performed on infants admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit. A reduction in the number of procedures, modifying them, or providing adequate analgesia could relieve some of this pain and distress.

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