This stratified RCT consisted of 898 ventilated preterm infants (23 – 32 weeks gestation), randomised to continuous morphine infusion or placebo, with open-label morphine boluses given, dependent on clinical judgement.
The use of morphine infusion was significantly associated with hypotension, longer mechanical ventilation and longer time to reach full enteral feeds. However, there were also lower pain scores and higher oxygen saturations.
Reference: Anand, K.J.S., Hall, R.W., Desai, N., Shephard, B., Bergqvist, L.L., Young, T.E., Boyle, E.M., Carbajal, R., Bhutani, V.K., Moore, M.B. and Kronsberg, S.S., 2004. Effects of morphine analgesia in ventilated preterm neonates: primary outcomes from the NEOPAIN randomised trial. The Lancet, 363(9422), pp.1673-1682.
Previously published: 02/05/14, 20/04/15