Examining the side effects of sucrose for pain relief in preterm infants: a case-control study
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AbstractSucrose solution is recommended as relevant pain relief management in neonates during acute painful procedures; however, only a few studies have analyzed the potentially adverse effects of sucrose administration to preterm neonates. The goal of this study was to examine the potential side effects of sucrose for pain relief in preterm infants, assessing feeding and weight gain during hospitalization and their feeding patterns postdischarge. The study sample consisted of 43 preterm neonates divided into two groups: a sucrose group (SG, n=18) and a control group (CG, n=25) in which no sucrose was administered. The SG received 0.5 mL/kg 25% oral sucrose for 2 min prior to all acute painful procedures during three consecutive days. A prospective review of medical charts was performed for all samples. The study was done prior to implementation of the institutional sucrose guidelines as a routine service, and followed all ethical requirements. There were no statistically significant differences between groups in terms of weight gain, length of stay with orogastric tubes, and parenteral feeding. Postdischarge, infant nutritional intake included feeding human milk to 67% of the SG and 74% of the CG. There were no statistically significant differences between groups regarding human milk feeding patterns postdischarge. Neonate feeding patterns and weight gain were unaffected following the short-term use of sucrose for pain relief.