Study: Prematurely born babies feel pain

April 6, 2006

Prematurely born babies do, indeed, feel pain, say researchers at University College London.

Earlier research showed babies born prematurely displayed signs of pain and distress, but the behavioral, psychological and metabolic examinations provided only indirect measurements, researchers said.

The team, reporting its finding in the Journal of Neuroscience, said the brain scans it took on 18 prematurely born infants proved they experience pain.

"We have shown for the first time that the information about pain reaches the brain in premature babies," lead author Maria Fitzgerald told the BBC.

Reacting to the study, support group Bliss said, "There is no justification for babies to be in pain" and prematurely born babies should be given pain relief when they are subjected to painful procedures.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Pretermers bounce back from pain with a cuddle

Related Stories

Pretermers bounce back from pain with a cuddle

April 24, 2008

Research published today in the open access journal BMC Pediatrics suggests that very preterm babies, born between 28 and 31 weeks, could benefit from skin-to-skin cuddling with their mother before and during painful procedures ...

Commonly used drug offers promise for premature babies

May 17, 2007

Scientists have found evidence that the cox-2 inhibitor celecoxib, a common pain reliever used to treat arthritis, may offer a new way to reduce the risk of the most common cause of brain damage in babies born prematurely.

Premature babies become more sensitive to pain in later life

May 10, 2010

( -- Premature babies who undergo painful treatments whilst in intensive care become more sensitive to pain compared to healthy newborns, according to new research by scientists at UCL (University College London). ...

Chikungunya virus and maternal infection

March 18, 2008

Chikungunya virus, an infectious agent transmitted by mosquitoes, appears seldom to harm infants of mothers infected early in pregnancy, but can frequently cause serious problems, including lasting brain injury, in babies ...

Recommended for you

Study suggests fish can experience 'emotional fever'

November 25, 2015

(—A small team of researchers from the U.K. and Spain has found via lab study that at least one type of fish is capable of experiencing 'emotional fever,' which suggests it may qualify as a sentient being. In their ...

New 'self-healing' gel makes electronics more flexible

November 25, 2015

Researchers in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a first-of-its-kind self-healing gel that repairs and connects electronic circuits, creating opportunities to advance the ...

Aging star's weight loss secret revealed

November 25, 2015

A team of astronomers using ESO's Very Large Telescope has captured the most detailed images ever of the hypergiant star VY Canis Majoris. These observations show how the unexpectedly large size of the particles of dust surrounding ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.