Dipartimento di Pediatria, Ostetricia e Medicina Riproduttiva, Università di Siena
Sensorial saturation: easy and effective against newborns’ procedural pain
Prevention and treatment of pain during procedures in newborns are currently limited.
Recently, it has been proposed and validated a non-pharmacological technique used for the relief of procedural pain both in term and preterm infants, called “Sensorial Saturation” (SS).
It consists in attracting the baby’s attention with positive stimuli (tactile, auditory, gustatory, olfactory and visual), so as to antagonize the perception of painful stimuli.
This technique is based on neuro-physiological concepts according to which the newborn’s brain is able to “filter” the peripheral stimuli through the “gate control system”. In this way, the peripheral sense organs can “saturate” the central receptors, resulting in a “sensorial jam” excluding painful stimuli. Several studies show the effectiveness of the SS, also proven by its use in national and international analgesia protocols. SS is not only a “technique”, but a way of being with the child, involving parents and making them protagonists of the medical procedure.
Quaderni acp 2013; 20(5): 223-226
Key words Newborn. Pain management. Sensorial saturation