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BACKGROUND: There is variability in the use of sedatives and analgesics in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). We aimed to investigate the use of analgesics and sedatives and the management of neonatal pain and distress. METHODS: This was a global, prospective, cross-sectional study. A survey was distributed May-November 2022. The primary outcome of this research was to compare results between countries depending on their socio-sanitary level using the sociodemographic index (SDI). We organized results based on geographical location. RESULTS: The survey collected 1304 responses, but we analyzed 924 responses after database cleaning. Responses from 98 different countries were analyzed. More than 60% of NICUs reported having an analgosedation guideline, and one-third of respondents used neonatal pain scales in more than 80% of neonates. We found differences in the management of sedation and analgesia between NICUs on different continents, but especially between countries with different SDIs. Countries with a higher SDI had greater availability of and adherence to analgosedation guidelines, as well as higher rates of analgosedation for painful or distressing procedures. Countries with different SDIs reported differences in analgosedation for neonatal intubation, invasive ventilation, and therapeutic hypothermia, among others. CONCLUSIONS: Socio-economic status of countries impacts on neonatal analgosedation management. IMPACT: There is significant variability in the pain management practices in neonates. There is a lack of knowledge related to how neonatal pain management practices differ between regions. Sociodemographic index is a key factor associated with differences in neonatal pain management practices across global regions.

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Journal article


Pediatr Res

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