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Early onset neonatal bacterial infection is defined as any infection that occurs in the first 72 hours of life. Infections can lead to sepsis - a life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by the host’s response to the pathogen, which is associated with a high risk of infant morbidity and mortality. Sickness caused by infection is evidenced by certain behaviour patterns including hyperalgesia. Studies in adults have shown that the activation of the immune system in response to a pathogen produces a decrease in the pain threshold and an increase in pain sensitivity. In infants, little is known about the impact of infection on pain response. However, it's important to determine whether infection affects pain response, considering the number of painful procedures to which infants with infections are exposed to over the course of their treatment. This study seeks to answer this question through the characterisation of EEG responses to a clinically required heel lance in a group of infants who receive antibiotics for suspected early onset infections.

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