The pain associated with infant immunization
can be decreased by the use of five S's intervention (swaddling, swinging,
shushing, side stomach position and sucking), according to a recent study
published online in Pediatrics journal.
These techniques can effectively mitigate the immunization pain in 2
to 4 months old infants.
prospective randomized, placebo-controlled trial was conducted by John W.
Harrington, of the Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk involving 230
infants in the age group between 2 and 4 months. These infants regularly
attended their well-child visits. The experts wanted to analyze whether
physical intervention with five S's technique alone or in conjunction with
orally administered sucrose would have a pain relieving effect in routine
purpose, the infants were grouped in four groups receiving 2 mL of water or 24
percent oral sucrose was given to them followed by either standard-of-care
comfort measures by parents or five S's intervention directly after vaccination.
Post vaccination pain scoring was done repeatedly up to five minutes.
experts discovered that the infants belonging to five S's and five S's plus
sucrose groups showed identical pain scores. This score was considerably lower
than the pain scores of those infants who received standard-of-care
interventions. Low mean scores were recorded over the time and similar trend
was seen with drying.
Harrington said, "This study demonstrates that the physical intervention
of the five S's resulted in decreased pain scores and decreased crying time
among 2- and 4-month-old infants during their routine vaccinations. The five
S's appear to be a viable non-pharmacologic option for clinics to implement
when providing analgesia during vaccinations."
drawn from the study was that the physical intervention of the five S's viz.
swaddling, side/stomach position, shushing, swinging, and sucking measures can
effectively mitigate the pain associated with immunization. However the effects
of five S's were similar to that of five S's and sucrose.
The authors stated,
"This simple physical intervention will require additional studies to see
whether it is reproducible for other painful procedures and whether parents can
be taught to perform the 5 S's reliably."
Effective Analgesia using physical interventions
for infant immunizations; John W Harrington et al; Pediatrics 2012