Baby in hospital birth yawn 311.
(photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
The Health Ministry has agreed that within a year, it will issue regulations on
the use of analgesics and other means such as specially thin needles to reduce
pain in children and babies undergoing medical procedures.
Levy, outgoing head of the medical branch, told this to the Knesset Committee on
Children’s Rights, which on Tuesday discussed this problem. Levy also said the
ministry will take pains to internalize the practice of reducing such pain in
hospitals and health fund clinics.
The issue was presented by National
Council for the Child director Dr. Yitzhak Kadman, who said it has been proven
that small children can feel intense pain that may have long-term emotional
implications, even traumatic reactions.
The amount of pain suffered by
children during medical procedures must be reduced to the very minimum, he
The committee received data from a survey conducted for the
national council in 2008 by Dr. Yoram Ben- Yehuda, director of the pediatric
emergency department at Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein
Kerem. Ben-Yehuda found that 30 percent of hospitals do not have rules requiring
doctors and nurses to minimize pain from medical procedures on children and that
31.8% of doctors have not passed courses for carrying them out.
Horev, coordinator of pediatrics in the community for Clalit Health Services,
said the number of painful tests and other procedures in children should be
minimized only to what is necessary and not conducted according to the parents’
requests for them.
Ben-Yehuda said pain can leave harmful emotional
effects at any age – even for the rest of one’s life – and that many hospitals
do not handle these procedures properly.
But Kadman said he was not happy
with the committee’s decision, announced by chairman MK Zevulun Orlev, because
it allows another year to pass until regulations are formulated and
Children, he said, will continue to suffer
“There are local anesthetic creams to apply, very small
needles and even trained medical clowns who can alleviate pain.”
demanded that reducing pain in children undergoing medical procedures should be
included in the curriculu