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Abstract

While pain management in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) was thought to be useless due to the infants’ inabilities to experience pain, research has confirmed that infants can and do experience pain at the same, if not greater, level of intensity as adults experience pain. Painful stimuli cause a system-wide sympathetic nervous system response that can cause damage when prolonged or unmanaged. There are multitudes of ways to treat an infant’s pain, but there seems to be a discrepancy between the knowledge that health care workers have regarding pain management in the NICU and the actual implementation of that knowledge. If this canyon between knowledge and action can be bridged, research supports that the overall care and patient outcomes of the infants will improve.

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