Oral or Poster Presentation
Concurrent Session 2A - Neonatal Clinical Epidemiology
Im Quah Smith, n/a
Medical Practitioner, Fellow of the Australian Medical Acupuncture College (AMAC)
School of Women’s and Children’s Health, University of New South Wales, Kensington, NSW, Australia and Roseville Wellness Group, Roseville, NSW, Australia
Introduction: Auricular acupuncture may decrease pain from common procedures like heel pricks in newborns but its effects on longer and more stressful stressors such as eye examinations for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), are uncertain. Our study’s objective was to evaluate the efficacy of magnetic auricular acupuncture (MAA) to decrease pain related to ROP examinations in preterm infants.
Methods: Multicenter randomised controlled trial at three sites (Australia, Canada, and Malaysia) was conducted. Infants were eligible for the study if they were >32 weeks corrected gestation, required an ROP examination and not sedated. and received parental consent. A total of 132 infants were randomized to MAA (n = 64) or placebo (P, N=68). MAA stickers or placebo were placed on both ears by an unblinded investigator. Pain was assessed by blinded clinical staff with the Premature Infant Pain Profile or the Neonatal Pain Agitation Sedation Scale, which were then transformed into Z-scores for analysis.
Results: Infants were of similar gestation (standard deviation (SD): MAA: 28 (3), P:27± 2 weeks), birthweight (MAA:1014 (296), P:952 (273) g) and postnatal age (MAA:7 (3) P:7 (3) weeks) at randomization. Z-scores for pain before (MAA: -0.6 (0.4), P: -0.7 (0.4)) and during (MAA:1.1(0.8), P:1. (0.7)) ROP examinations were similar between groups but were significantly lower 1 hour post procedure in MAA infants (MAA: -0.7 (0.3, P: -0.4 (0.4)). * MAA was associated with significantly lower pain z-scores (Odds Ratio 4.03 (95% Confidence Interval, 1.05-15.54), p=0.04) after accounting for confounders (age, gestation, gender). Heart rates were also significantly lower in the MAA group during ROP examination (MAA:172 (22), P:184 (18) bpm. * No adverse events were noted.
Conclusion: MAA may reduce physiological pain responses in infants during and after more prolonged stressful procedures such as ROP examination. Assessment of long-term effects are warranted.