News article

Administration of Sucrose to Children Prior to Immunisation: Effects on Pain and Discomfort

Posted:  Thursday, October 13, 2016

Effects of Sucrose on Pain Relief in Children During Immunisation: A Randomised Controlled Trial

Pain relief during immunisation is important to reduce discomfort. A randomised controlled trial published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing investigated the effect of 30% sucrose on pain relief and comfort during immunisation of 15-month-old children in health care centres.

A total of 114 children were randomised to receive either 2 mL of 30% sucrose (n=59; intervention group) or 2 mL of sterile water (n=55; placebo group) orally 1–2 minutes before administration of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine. Duration of crying was measured from the time the needle was withdrawn until the child stopped crying.

Children receiving 30% sucrose cried for an average of 18 seconds and those receiving sterile water cried for an average of 33 seconds. The duration of crying varied from 0–72 seconds in the intervention group and from 0–93 seconds in the placebo group. Compared to placebo, infants who received sucrose cried for significantly shorter period of time. These findings were both statistically and clinically significant.

The study demonstrated that administering 30% sucrose solution rather than sterile water orally 1–2 minutes prior to vaccination reduces the duration of crying among 15-month-old children. To improve the health care of 15-month-old children, sucrose can be used for pain relief and comfort during immunisation. Provision of sweet-tasting solutions should be implemented as standard practice during immunisation or other needle-related procedures in 15-month-old children.

News source - Despriee ÅW, Langeland E. The effect of sucrose as pain relief/comfort during immunisation of 15-month-old children in health care centres: a randomised controlled trial. J Clin Nurs. 2016; 25(3-4):372–80.