Show Summary Details
Page of

Long-term effects of pain in children 

Long-term effects of pain in children
Chapter:
Long-term effects of pain in children
Author(s):

Ruth E. Grunau

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199642656.003.0004
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE (www.oxfordmedicine.com). © Oxford University Press, 2016. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 15 August 2018

Major advances in high-technology medical care have led to greatly increased survival of medically fragile infants born extremely preterm, or with major congenital anomalies or other life-threatening conditions. These infants are exposed to procedural, surgical, and post-surgical pain. For millennia human infancy was a prolonged period of adult protection, with pain rarely encountered early in life. While the biological mechanisms for perception of pain develop during the fetal period, endogenous capacities to dampen pain mature later. Until relatively recently, this biological substrate was a good fit, matching the environment of infancy. However, the revolution in medical care has led to unforeseen challenges to understand and manage infant pain. In full-term infants, the primary concern is whether early pain alters later pain sensitivity. In contrast, due to the immaturity of the developing nervous system, the greatest impact of pain is likely to occur in the least maturely born infants. Therefore, in infants born very preterm who undergo lengthy hospitalization, pain may affect multiple aspects of development. This chapter focuses on long-term effects of early pain on subsequent pain perception, neurodevelopment, brain development, and programming of stress systems in the context of clinical studies, and whether caregiving factors may ameliorate potential long-term adverse effects.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.