More babies exposed to drugs in utero

Pregnancy. (WDTN Photo)
Pregnancy. (WDTN Photo)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Dayton Children’s Hospital is taking charge of a growing problem.  Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome or NAS is a hardship for babies born to women who abuse drugs and/or alcohol while pregnant.

The infants who were exposed in utero have longer stays in hospitals. That’s because medical staff members have to help them withdraw from the substances. They ave to evaluate their neurological and physical behaviors to determine if they need treatment. Then nurses have to create a calm environment for them to grow properly.

“Their initial problems are poor feeding, a lot of crying and no interaction. They are in what we call a disorganized state,” said Lisa Jasin of Dayton Children’s Hospital.

That hospital has been working to cut the number of days that it has taken to withdraw from drugs and alcohol from 48 to 14. The decrease in a hospital stay translates to a 1/3 cut in money spent for treatment.

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