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Defining Procedural Distress in the NICU and What Can Be Done About It

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Procedural distress is a common occurrence in the NICU and is tied to attempts to support the life and development of vulnerable premature infants. We discuss the epidemiology of procedural distress and the potential negative consequences on infant neurodevelopment. We define procedural distress in the NICU and outline three approaches to limit or to reduce its detrimental effects including minimizing the number of procedures, instituting measures for developmentally supportive care, and using preemptively pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic analgesia. Despite the pervasiveness of procedural distress in the NICU, clinical and administrative measures are available to ameliorate possible harmful outcomes.
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Keywords: DEVELOPMENTAL CARE; INFANT; NEONATAL; NEURODEVELOPMENT; NICU; PAIN; PREMATURE; PREMATURITY

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2017

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