Quantifying individual infant nociceptive sensitivity
Testing analgesics in neonates is experimentally and ethically challenging and minimising the number of neonates required to demonstrate efficacy is essential. Noxious-evoked brain activity can be used to assess analgesic efficacy; however, as variability exists in the way in which individual infants respond to painful procedures, large sample sizes are often required. We found that the brain activity of babies measured after a gentle poke and after a painful clinically required procedure were correlated. We showed that this information can be used to reduce the number of participants needed to test pain-relieving interventions.