Bring a little sweetness to the (exam) table

August 1, 2004

Sucrose solution has been found to mitigate the pain of some procedures, such as circumcision, for infants.

Sucrose solution has been found to mitigate the pain of some procedures, such as circumcision, for infants.1 It also can make the neonatal exam easier for both the newborn and the pediatrician. I find that dipping a pacifier, or a finger, in sucrose solution and offering it to the infant quickly calms the patient and allows a much more thorough examination. This strategy is particularly helpful when evaluating a newborn for cardiac disease or palpating the abdomen for a possible mass.

You can make your own sucrose solution by adding one packet (1/2 teaspoon) of table sugar to 10 mL of sterile water. Or, if you don't have time to make the solution, a commercial preparation called Sweet-Ease is available at www.childmed.com.

Lance Cordoni, MD
Peoria, Ill.

REFERENCE

1. Herschel M, Khoshnood B, Ellman C, et al: Neonatal circumcision: Randomized trial of a sucrose pacifier for pain control. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 1998;152(3):279

For more articles like this check out our Clinical Tips section.