The Effect of Swaddling on Pain, Vital Signs, and Crying Duration during Heel Lance in Newborns

Erkut Z., Yildiz S.

PAIN MANAGEMENT NURSING, vol.18, no.5, pp.328-336, 2017 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 18 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.pmn.2017.05.007
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.328-336
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


To determine the effect of swaddling on pain, vital signs, and crying duration during heel lance in the newborn. This was a randomized controlled study of 74 (control: 37, experiment: 37) newborns born between December 2013 and February 2014 at the Ministry of Health Bagcilar Training and Research Hospital. An information form, observation form, and Neonatal Infant Pain Scale were used as data collection tools. Data from the pain scores, peak heart rates, oxygen saturation, total crying time, and duration of the procedure were collected using a video camera. Newborns in the control group underwent routine heel lance, whereas newborns in the experimental group underwent routine heel lance while being swaddled by the researcher. The newborns' pain scores, peak heart rates, oxygen saturation values, and crying durations were evaluated using video recordings made before, during, and 1, 2, and 3 minutes after the procedure. Pain was assessed by a nurse and the researcher. No statistically significant difference was found in the characteristics of the two groups (p >.05). The mean pain scores of swaddled newborns during and after the procedure were lower than the nonswaddled newborns (p <.05). In addition, crying duration of swaddled newborns was found to be shorter than the nonswaddled newborns (p <.05). The average preprocedure peak heart rates of swaddled newborns were higher (p <.05); however, the difference was not significant during and after the procedure (p >.05). Although there was no significant difference in oxygen saturation values before and during the procedure (p >.05), oxygen saturation values of swaddled newborns were higher afterward (p <.05). For this study sample, swaddling was an effective nonpharmacologic method to help reduce pain and crying in an effort to soothe newborns. Although pharmacologic pain management is the gold standard, swaddling can be recommended as a complementary therapy for newborns during painful procedures. Swaddling is a quick and simple nonpharmacologic method that can be used by nurses to help reduce heel stick pain in newborns. (C) 2017 by the American Society for Pain Management Nursing