Most infants experience painful procedures during their first days. Minimization of pain to decrease noxious effects is warranted. This Critically Appraised Topic (CAT) evaluates a meta-analysis of 5 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that examined sucrose as analgesia for neonatal procedural pain.
To determine the efficacy and optimal dosing of sucrose for neonatal procedural pain.
A literature search identified 5 studies that met criteria for inclusion in the meta-analysis, for a total of 271 infants studied. The primary outcome measure was crying time, measured for 3 minutes after a painful procedure following administration of water or varying doses of sucrose.
There was no difference in crying time between the 0.18 g sucrose and water groups (P > 0.05), but crying time was significantly less in the other sucrose groups. Doses of at least 0.24 g (2 mL 12% sucrose) were found to be most effective. No adverse effects were reported.
This CAT systematically appraises this meta-analysis, provides clinical bottom lines, and includes recommendations for practice.