Neonatal Pain and Children

Research vision: Pain in Neonates and Children

Dr. J. Patijn, Neurologist/Pain Specialist

Within the former PKC-Maastricht, little attention was paid to the research topic "Pijn in Neonates and Children". Because of the collaboration of the UPCM with Prof. Dr. D. Tibboel (Head Paediatric Surgical Intensive Care Unit in the Department of Paediatric Surgery, Erasmus Medical Centre, University Rotterdam) in the area of pain in neonates and children, an inducement has been created for further development of this topic within the UPCM. The Paediatric Surgical Intensive Care Unit of the  Erasmus Medical Centre has build up a large experience and international reputation with respect to diagnostic procedures and treatments of postoperative pain in preterm and aterm neonates. Little is known about the development of the nociceptive system in premature neonates and the consequences of procedural pain stimuli during their stay at a pediatric intensive care unit. In addition, an immature central nociceptive nervous system makes the outcome of pain treatments unpredictable. In addition, pharmacokinetics (slow en fast metabolisers) ans toxiciticity drugs like morphine are unknown. It is unclear which long-term sequelae premature neonates can develop because of exposure of procedural repetative pain stimuli during a previous stay at a pediatric intensive care unit. In first instance, the translational experimental pain research will focus on the effects of repetative pain stimuli on the developing nociceptive system in laboratory animals. Clinical research will mainly focus on the pain treatment of the group neonates that is daily exposed to procedural repetative pain stimuli during the stay at a pediatric intensive care unit.