Send to

Choose Destination
Biol Neonate. 1999 May;75(5):279-84.

Pain-relieving effect of sucrose in newborns during heel prick.

Author information

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark.


We assessed the effect of sucrose as a pain reliever in a population of newborns when cuddled and comforted during heel prick for diagnosis of phenylketonuria. In addition, the influences of gender, gestational age, postnatal age, ponderal index and behavioural state of the infant before the heel prick were studied, as judged by the neonatal infant pain scale (NIPS) score, on crying time (CT) and subsequent NIPS score. 100 healthy full-term infants were enrolled in this double-blind, randomized controlled trial. Before the heel prick, the newborns, when cuddled by the parent(s), were either given 2 ml 50% sucrose solution or 2 ml sterile water. The sessions were videotaped and analyzed for determination of CT and NIPS scores. The frequency distribution of CT showed a bimodal pattern in both the sucrose and the placebo groups. Sucrose significantly reduced CT and NIPS scores after the heel prick. No influence of gender, gestational age, postnatal age or ponderal index on CT was found. NIPS scores before the heel prick correlated significantly and positively with CT and subsequent NIPS scores in both the sucrose and the placebo groups. Intra-orally administered sucrose given before heel prick can be recommended as a useful pain reliever. Furthermore, the findings indicate that factors calming the newborn and creating low NIPS scores before the procedure can reduce the pain reaction equivalently and additively to sucrose administration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for S. Karger AG, Basel, Switzerland
Loading ...
Support Center