Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Feeding prior to eye exams reduces stress in premature infants

Date:
September 29, 2010
Source:
Elsevier
Summary:
Premature infants are often examined for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). This exam can be quite stressful for the neonate, causing changes in heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen saturation, and increased crying. Researchers found that, contrary to common practice, feeding infants one hour before the examination unexpectedly reduced stress but did not increase vomiting or gastric aspirates.

Premature infants are often examined for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). This exam can be quite stressful for the neonate, causing changes in heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen saturation, and increased crying. In a recent study published in the Journal of AAPOS, the Official Publication of the American Association of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, researchers found that feeding infants one hour before the examination unexpectedly reduced stress but did not increase vomiting or gastric aspirates.

Investigators from Queens University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, and the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, indicated that there is no published scientific literature supporting the practice of withholding feeding from infants before ROP examinations, thought to reduce gastrointestinal distress.

According to Dr. Yi Ning J. Strube, MD, MS, FRCSC, Assistant Professor, Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, Queen's University, Department of Ophthalmology, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, "This study is important in that it lets parents and nurses know that they can safely feed their baby according to the baby's usual feeding schedules without concern that it will affect the baby's stress response and gastrointestinal effects due to the ROP examination. Our data suggests that feeding prior to the eye examination, rather than withholding feeds prior to the eye examination, may in fact provide additional comfort, reducing the stress of the examination with no increased gastrointestinal side effects, such as vomiting. This is the first study to specifically examine the relationship between the timing of feeding before the ROP examination and to consider its effects on gastrointestinal function and stress response in preterm infants. It emphasizes the importance of managing and reducing neonatal pain during procedures, such as the ROP examination, and provides new guidelines to those caring for infants in the neonatal intensive care units."

A total of 34 infants were enrolled in the study, with 57 separate eye examinations conducted. Premature infants in Neonatal Intensive Care Units are typically fed every 2 to 3 hours. For 22 infants, feeding was scheduled at 1 hour before the exam. For 12 infants, feeding schedules were adjusted so that no feeding occurred in the 2 hours before the exam. For the first group, there was 19% less crying, 3 times less vomiting, lower gastric aspirates, lower diastolic blood pressure, and higher respiratory rate during the examination, although pulse rate was greater at the start of the examination.

Neonatal pain may result in increased pain sensitivity over time, altered responses to pain later in life, and possible short- and long-term changes in neural development as suggested by animal studies on brain and spinal cord development. Since the ROP examination is known to cause distress in neonates, any actions to reduce this distress will likely be beneficial.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elsevier. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Yi Ning J. Strube, Jeffrey A. Bakal and Brian W. Arthur. Relationship between feeding schedules and gastric distress during retinopathy of prematurity screening eye examinations. Journal of AAPOS, Volume 14, Issue 4 (August 2010)

Cite This Page:

Elsevier. "Feeding prior to eye exams reduces stress in premature infants." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100929111035.htm>.
Elsevier. (2010, September 29). Feeding prior to eye exams reduces stress in premature infants. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100929111035.htm
Elsevier. "Feeding prior to eye exams reduces stress in premature infants." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100929111035.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins