Relaying More Positive Sensory Information
A study of premature infants showed that those who received fewer needle pokes in the neonatal intensive care unit went on to have better growth of their thalamus. It’s understandable, considering that the role of the thalamus is to relay sensory information—such as touch, temperature, and pain—from the body to the rest of the brain. The infants who had a catheter for a longer period of time required fewer needle pokes, which in turn lead to fewer painful procedures and eventually higher thalamus volume.
Use of central lines allowed for medication delivery, easier blood testing, and provided nutrition and medication. The study concluded that longer use of central arterial and venous line "use in preterm neonates may provide an unprecedented opportunity to reduce invasive procedures in preterm neonates. Pain reduction in very preterm neonates is associated with optimal thalamic growth and neurodevelopment.”
Read the full press release on Newswise.
Access the journal article.
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