Tip 179: fetal pain

The fetus produces a stress response to painful stimuli from 18/40, but it is not proven if this is perceived as pain.

The nociception system is definitely known to be present and functioning from 26/40.

In practice we consider that any preterm baby can perceive pain and we should take steps to ameliorate it.

Reference: Rennie & Roberton’s Textbook of Neonatology, 5th Ed, 2005. London: Churchill.

Previously published: 16/10/14

 

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