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Painful procedures for premature infants in neonatal intensive care units remain inevitable. The goal of this study is to evaluate the effect of an eutectic mixture of local anesthetic (EMLA) cream for minimizing pain in premature infants during venipuncture in neonatal intensive care units. This study enrolled 32 premature infants. A repeated-measures design was used. The scores of the 'Neonatal Pain, Agitation and Sedation Scale' (N-PASS) of each enrolled preterm infant were measured before, during and 10 min after venipuncture without and with EMLA cream use. Paired t-tests were used to compare the difference of N-PASS scores without and with EMLA cream use. Paired t-tests revealed a significant decrease in N-PASS scores during venipuncture in infants with EMLA cream. There was no significant change of N-PASS scores before, during and 10 min after venipuncture with EMLA cream by analysis of repeated analysis of variance. EMLA cream for minimizing pain during venipuncture could be recommended for premature infants.


Fan Hui-Chen, Chen Hsiu-Lin, Chen Shun-Line, Tasi Tai-Ling, Wang Li-Jung, Tseng Hsing-I, Yang San-Nan. The effect of EMLA cream on minimizing pain during venipuncture in premature infants. Journal of tropical pediatrics. 2013 Feb;59(1):72-3

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PMID: 22961215

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