What is PAL®?

PAL® is a medical device that is designed to encourage and reinforce development of efficient non-nutritive sucking in premature infants. This is accomplished by giving positive feedback in the form of music/mother’s voice as an auditory input in direct response to efficient sucking.

A Mother’s Voice Helps Smallest Babies

Healing with a Mother’s Voice

Tallahassee Memorial Hospital

Vanderbilt Medical School Research Study

“A Pacifier-activated Music Player with Mother’s Voice Improves Oral Feeding in Preterm Infants.” Published in Pediatrics Journal, February 20141.  Click here for abstract. Full text available from Pediatrics.

Why should I use PAL® with my patients?

PAL® is not just a “musical pacifier”; it is a sophisticated medical device that is very simple in its implementation yet effective in its outcomes.

Poor oral feedings are many times what keeps NICU infants in the hospital for an extended amount of time. Clinical research published in Pediatrics, February 2014, by Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, titled, “A Pacifier-Activated Music Player with Mother’s Voice Improves Oral Feeding in Preterm Infants” stated that preterm infants in the research study who received therapy with a PAM (Pacifier-Activated-Music Player) had their feeding tubes removed 7 days earlier than the control group.1

PAL® is a simple, effective,infant-driven developmental tool for the caregiver. PAL® provides objective data, while encouraging and reinforcing an infant’s non-nutritive sucking skill. PAL® is a tool designed to help the therapist or bedside caregiver encourage and reinforce efficient non-nutritive sucking in premature infants. PAL® is a tool not a therapist or bedside caregiver. The therapist/bedside caregiver continues to use skilled clinical judgment for the timing of PAL® usage, assessment of efficiency and endurance of the infant, and continued evaluation for the timing to introduce PO feedings.

PAL® is in use today.

The PAL® system is presently being utilized in a number of hospitals for preemies with sucking issues and to encourage and reinforce development of effective NNS for self-soothing. Pal therapy is administered by therapists or nurses and qualifies for insurance reimbursement, utilizing existing CPT reimbursement codes.

1Chorna, O.D., Slaughter, J.C., Wang, L., Stark, A.R., & Maitre, N.L., (2014). A pacifier-activated music player with mother’s voice improves oral feeding in preterm infants. Pediatrics. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2013-2547.

Matt TatemNurses/Therapists