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Response to pain by different gestational age neonates.

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Department of Pediatrics, Xiehe Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430022.


One hundred infants were divided into the following 3 gestational age (GA) groups: (I) premature infants (n = 30) with the gestational age between 29 and 32 weeks; (II) premature infants (n = 30) with the gestational age between 33 and 36 weeks; (III) full-term infants (n = 40). The recorded responses of all infants to pain included the behavioral responses to painful stimuli (cry, facial activity and limbs movement) and the variety of heart rate. The results indicated that the infants of 3 groups had different degree response to various painful stimuli. Pain expression in full term infants was more significant than premature infants to same stimuli. 33-weeks GA infants were differential from 29-weeks GA infants. Full term infants showed more vertical mouth stretch and more taut tongue and more hand to mouth than premature infants, but more horizontal mouth stretch in premature infants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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