The ongoing opioid epidemic in the United States has translated into a public health emergency due to the rising cases of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) or Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome (NOWS). Infants born with NAS are at risk for low birth weight, respiratory and feeding difficulties, seizures, and disruption of infant-caregiver attachment, there are also persistent subacute symptoms that can last for months including poor feeding, difficulty sleeping, hypertonia, and loose stools. Historically, many of these infants received prolonged inpatient care with discharge occurring after the most troublesome symptoms had decreased in severity and there was establishment of supportive services. With a shift in focus to non-pharmacologic support, a new scoring tool, and the ability for prn only doses of medication, these infants are now being discharged to home significantly sooner. This results in an increased need for close primary care follow up to address risks of difficulty to console, failure to thrive, and an increased risk of child abuse or neglect. A strong outpatient support system is an important component in the care of these infants. Learn how to support these vulnerable and fragile families.
- Discuss the new management of infants affected by NAS/NOWS including a focus on non-pharmacologic management and a new scoring tool
- Review the effects that this change in management will have on timing of infant’s discharge after birth and the subsequent effects on outpatient follow up and support needs
- Review the wrap around care model that is becoming the focus for infants affected by NAS/NOWs including antenatal consults/education, changing inpatient management, and post discharge support and follow up
This seminar focuses on neonatology and was delivered at a virtual event titled, “Multidisciplinary Care of the Infant/Parent Dyad affected by NAS (Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome)/NOWS (Neonatal Opiod Withdrawal Syndrome),” on February 22, 2022.
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