A Pictorial and Video Guide to Circumcision Without Pain

Nancy L. Kraft, RNC, MSN, NNP


Adv Neonatal Care. 2003;3(2) 

In This Article

The Imperative for Neonatal Pain Control

This article focuses on the control of pain and distress once a fully informed decision to circumcise has been made. Recently, there has been a surge of interest in neonatal pain, much of it inspired by professional and accrediting organizations.[27,28,29] In time, this focus on preventing and ameliorating neonatal pain may lead to changes in clinical practice. Despite this emphasis, infants still continue to be circumcised without the benefit of effective analgesia or anesthesia.

The 1999 American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) policy statement on neonatal circumcision states that routine circumcision for male infants is not medically necessary. It also emphasizes that "analgesia is safe and effective in reducing the procedural pain associated with circumcision and, therefore, adequate analgesia should be provided if neonatal circumcision is performed." In addition, ". . . the subcutaneous ring block may provide the most effective analgesia."[14]


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