Celeste Johnston of McGill University, Montreal, Canada and colleagues have already shown that skin-to-skin contact, known as kangaroo mother care (KMC) helps babies born at 32 to 36 weeks to recover from pain. They hoped to determine whether KMC could reduce pain and aid recovery in even younger preterm babies born at 28 to 31 weeks. It was previously thought that such young babies were not developed enough to benefit from comfort strategies.
They carried out a randomized crossover trial to see whether such babies could bounce back from pain following a heel lance blood test, which involves pricking the baby’s heel to obtain a blood sample. The team asked mothers to hold their babies for 15 minutes prior to and throughout a heel lance procedure. On another occasion the same babies in the trial were treated as normal and simply swaddled in the prone position in the incubator before and after the procedure.
The team was able to assess the babies' pain based on the Premature Infant Pain Profile (PIPP), which takes into account facial expressions, heart rate, and blood oxygen levels. They measured the PIPP just before the heel lance and at 30-second intervals during and after the procedure.
They found that PIPP scores at 90 seconds after the lance procedure were much lower in the KMC babies than in those without skin-to-skin contact. The facial expression of pain was shown less than half the time in the babies treated with KMC.
Babies receiving KMC also recovered from the pain within a couple of minutes, whereas the incubator babies were still suffering at more than three minutes. This delay could make all the difference to the health of a very preterm baby - born before 32 weeks - who needs almost constant incubator care.
"The pain response in very preterm neonates appears to be reduced by skin-to-skin maternal contact," says Johnston, "This response is not as powerful as it is in older preterm babies, but the shorter recovery time using KMC is important in helping maintain the baby's health." Johnston also points out that the approach could also have benefits for the mother whose parental role diminishes while her baby is in intensive care.
Charlotte Webber | alfa
Infants later diagnosed with autism follow adults’ gaze, but seldom initiate joint attention
24.05.2019 | Schwedischer Forschungsrat - The Swedish Research Council
When wheels and heads are spinning - DFG research project on motion sickness in automated driving
22.05.2019 | Technische Universität Berlin
A new assessment of NASA's record of global temperatures revealed that the agency's estimate of Earth's long-term temperature rise in recent decades is accurate to within less than a tenth of a degree Fahrenheit, providing confidence that past and future research is correctly capturing rising surface temperatures.
The most complete assessment ever of statistical uncertainty within the GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP) data product shows that the annual values...
Physicists at the University of Basel are able to show for the first time how a single electron looks in an artificial atom. A newly developed method enables them to show the probability of an electron being present in a space. This allows improved control of electron spins, which could serve as the smallest information unit in a future quantum computer. The experiments were published in Physical Review Letters and the related theory in Physical Review B.
The spin of an electron is a promising candidate for use as the smallest information unit (qubit) of a quantum computer. Controlling and switching this spin or...
Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...
With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.
Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...
'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.
However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...
29.04.2019 | Event News
17.04.2019 | Event News
15.04.2019 | Event News
27.05.2019 | Information Technology
24.05.2019 | Physics and Astronomy
24.05.2019 | Medical Engineering