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Fundación Mutua Levante
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How to alleviate children pain in procedures?
Mª Jesús Vidoterra
Paediatric nurse

The empathy, respect and conception of the children patients as a self being will be our key point in the decitions to be taken,that would guide our care.Children need to understand and to be understood.We inform children all the way through,along its cognitive capacities,all time along the treatment.

Non pharmacological treatments in treatment of chidren pain, are used to alleviate pain at short time, in clinical and diagnostic pain, we mean acute pain. These measures don´t treat disease pain as these treatments on the long distance are limited ones. When procedures are more agressive the pharmacological measures isolated are not enough as they have to be accompanied by pharmacological treatment indicated on each case and patient.

To diminish pain and suffering in children during procedures, as to improve their wellfare, is one our main object for paediatric nurses in our units. So we have to develop our cognitive, techniques and aptitudes to confront not only children pain, but also their family that would have emotional anxiety, so we should not forget, that when a child has got pain and feel il, all family feel the same. There is a poem of Gloria Fuertes: “Pain gets old more than even the time…”

When children pass some time at hospital, is as much important attention paid to the stress in children and parents. It is essential to create a welfare feeling enough for a positive feeling towards the actual experience, but also the reduction of fear and other negative emotions. Each of these factors need to be taken into account on daily attention of these patients. In a hospital atmosphere design for children patients, the fear is diminished not only for children but for relatives, parents and peers.

Summarizing, acute pain in the procedures should be detected, treating holistically and bio psychosocially allowing parents to become participants of the treatment.

Techniques in children procedures

One of the key points is to justufy the presence of parents along the procedures,after several studies was concluded that 100% of parents help their kids in one way of another.

In accordance to children age they were treated with different techniques and these ones were explained in different groups, always with parent presence.

With neonates and breasfeeding children up till 2 years old, they are in suction period, therefore their best support is maternal breastfeeding ,skin to skin, music, comforting atmosphere, as well as not to wake them up and to wait to do their tests, distraction with toys and with videos .

From 2 to 6 years, cognitive distraction: Deviate attention. Imaginery: Visualize an object or comfortable experience. Preparation-education-information. Stop negative thinking.       Suggest: verbal signs. Self confidence. Modify memories. Training of parents and relatives.

More than 6 years old: Attention distraction. Breathing exercises, bubbles. Tale of superation. Practice of positive thinking, positive reinforce, rewards. Virtual reality with glasses and videos and video games. Physical strategies: cold, heat, massages.

All techniques should be children adapted independently of their age.

The physical environment, the effect of color and light, alleviates pain and improves emotional status of children and their relatives. Projects like therapy of playing is changing the pediatric units to change them into more funny and comfortable for children at hospital environment, reducing fear and stress.

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