Objective. To assess whether multisensorial stimulation has an analgesic effect on the duration of crying and if this effect is greater than that of sucking and orally administered glucose. Methods. Duration of crying was measured as a pain index during routine blood sampling in 17 preterm infants (gestational age 30-34 weeks). Fifty-one heel-pricks (three per patient) were performed using three different analgesic methods in random order: A) control, B) 10% oral glucose plus sucking and C) sensorial saturation (SS), namely multisensorial stimulation composed of delicate tactile, vestibular, gustative, olfactory, auditory and visual stimuli. Results. Duration of crying was shorter with sucking plus oral glucose than for controls but SS had an even greater analgesic effect than sucking plus oral glucose (Median, 95% CI: A: 24 sec, 18.32 - 27.68; B: 5 sec, 0-8.71; C: 0 sec, 0 - 0.68; p < 0.00001) Conclusions. SS is an effective analgesic procedure, easy to use in the NICU and promotes good interaction between nurse and infant.
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