Brazilian Journal of Pain
Brazilian Journal of Pain
Original Article

Analysis of pain and free cortisol of newborns in intensive therapy with therapeutic procedures

Análise da dor e do cortisol livre em recém-nascidos em terapia intensiva com procedimentos terapêuticos

Cibele Thomé da Cruz Rebelato; Eniva Miladi Fernandes Stumm

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BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Newborns at high risk in the intensive care unit are exposed to painful, repetitive and prolonged procedures that may be related to changes in brain development and behavioral abnormalities. The objective of this study was to relate pain and free cortisol of premature newborns undergoing therapeutic procedures in intensive care units.

METHODS: A quantitative, descriptive, cross-sectional study conducted with 32 premature newborns submitted to venipuncture, who were evaluated for pain and stress related to assisted ventilation; sedatives, prenatal corticoid, type of venipuncture, site, and the number of attempts.

RESULTS: Preterm newborns undergoing invasive ventilation had a predominance of moderate pain in 12 (37.5%) and cortisol increase in 14 (43.8%) of them. Venipuncture triggered moderate and intense pain, 10 (31.3%), and in 17 (53.1) the cortisol levels increased. More than half was due to peripherally inserted central catheter placement, so that 10 (43.8) had moderate pain. The results of the research suggest that the exposure of newborns to invasive procedures is stressful, especially when repeated several times.

CONCLUSION: Repeated venous puncture associated with therapeutic procedures intensified pain and altered cortisol, causing stress in premature newborns.


Intensive care unit, Nursing, Pain measurement, Physiological stress, Premature newborn


JUSTIFICATIVA E OBJETIVOS: Os recém-nascidos de alto risco em unidade de terapia intensiva, são expostos a procedimentos dolorosos, repetitivos e prolongados que podem estar relacionados a alterações no desenvolvimento do cérebro e anomalias comportamentais. O objetivo deste estudo foi relacionar a dor e o cortisol livre de recém-nascidos prematuros, com procedimentos terapêuticos instituídos em terapia intensiva.

MÉTODOS: Pesquisa quantitativa, descritiva, transversal, realizada com 32 recém-nascidos prematuros submetidos à punção venosa, que foram avaliados quanto à dor e estresse relacionado à ventilação assistida; sedativos, corticoide no pré-natal, tipo de punção venosa, local e número de tentativas.

RESULTADOS: Recém-nascidos prematuros submetidos à ventilação invasiva apresentaram predomínio de dor moderada em 12 (37,5%) e aumento de cortisol em 14 (43,8%) deles. A punção venosa desencadeou dor moderada e intensa, 10 (31,3%) e em 17 (53,1) ocorreu aumento do nível de cortisol. Mais da metade ocorreu para passagem de cateter central de inserção periférica, de modo que 10 (43,8) tiveram dor moderada. Os resultados da investigação, sugerem que a exposição dos recém-nascidos a procedimentos invasivos é estressante, especialmente quando repetido várias vezes.

CONCLUSÃO: A punção venosa repetida associada a procedimentos terapêuticos intensificou a dor e alterou o cortisol, o que implica em estresse ao recém-nascido prematuro.


Enfermagem, Estresse fisiológico, Mensuração da dor, Recém-nascido prematuro, Unidades de terapia intensiva


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