Study claims giving children painkillers before surgery reduces pain


When a child receives painkillers to relieve the discomfort from surgery, it can determine how much pain they experience. According to researchers at Bnei Zion Medical Center in Haifa, those who received them before the operation rather than after suffered less pain and had to take fewer painkillers.

A separate study by a team from the hospital also found that children who underwent regional (spinal) rather than general anesthesia had lower levels of stress hormones compared to children who underwent general anesthesia. It is possible that lower levels of stress hormones can affect the final results of the success of the surgery. 

The two groundbreaking studies in the field of pain in children were presented by the director of the hospital’s anesthesiology department, Prof. Mustafa Samari, at the British Pain Association conference held in Nottingham. Over 500 doctors specializing in the field of pain participated. 

Left to right: Justin Hayet Stephen Savitsky, Dr Ohad Hochman George Schaeffer Dr. Amnon Rofe Rabbi Dr. Ari Lamm. (credit: NIR STEINBERG)

The research was the first to examine the effect of the type of anesthesia on the levels of stress hormones in children. “It’s possible that lower levels of stress hormones can affect the final results of the surgery’s success,” he said. 

Result of the studies

It was clear to him from the other study that children who received painkillers before surgery experienced less pain and consumed fewer painkillers after surgery and that giving pain medications before surgery reduces the amount of pain relievers needed and their side effects, especially medications from the drug families.

The director-general of Bnei Zion Medical Center, Dr. Ohad Hochman, concluded that this research “highlights our commitment to provide optimal pain treatment to children. We are proud of Prof. Samari for his significant contribution to the advancement of pain research in children.”

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