The purpose of this paper is to review the topic of heel warming and swaddling in the neonatal setting. Review of this topic will be completed through the utilization of a research study found in the Journal of Clinical Nursing, which tested the effectiveness both swaddling and heel warming have on reducing pain in the neonate following a heel stick. Through analysis of this research study, this paper aims to understand how certain interventions can be used to effectively alleviate pain in the NICU.
Heel sticks, used to obtain capillary blood samples, predominate as the most commonly performed invasive procedure in the neonatal intensive care unit (Geahan, 2013). Minimizing pain is an important part of nursing care, as all persons have a right to pain relief. Yet, neonatal pain management can be insufficient as neonates lack the ability to verbalize their pain. Lalisha Krishnan (2013) in the Journal of Neonatal Surgery, argues that pain in the neonate can worsen an already compromised physiological state. Pain could exacerbate conditions such as hypoxia, hypoglycemia or respiratory distress. For this reason, the research study to be examined is crucial. It provides valuable insight into techniques that could reduce neonate pain during a routine procedure such as the heel stick.
Conducted from July 2009 through December 2010 in a Taiwanese district hospital, this study utilized a randomized controlled design. Neonates were