Background and aims Necrotizing entero colitis (NEC) is an extremely painful complication in premature neonates. To our knowledge there are no pain management guidelines for NEC. We studied pain management in a cohort of neonates operated on for NEC in our hospital over a 5-year period.
Methods Data from 2008–2012 including COMFORTneo scores and analgesic treatment were retrieved from our patient data management system. COMFORTneo scores of 14 or higher and numeric rating scale pain score (NRS) of 4 or higher suggest pain or discomfort.
Results 69 neonates (29 boys, 40 girls) were operated on at median postnatal age 10 days (range 4–82 days). The majority was Bell’s stage 3 (81.1%), gestational age ranged from 24.2 to 36.4 weeks. Twenty children (29%) died, of whom 9 on day of surgery or the next day.
Conclusions Patients received relatively high doses of opioids leading to acceptable pain scores for such a painful condition. Benchmarking and prospective studies are necessary next steps.