Home > Emergence of opiate-induced neonatal abstinence syndrome.

Healy, D and English, F and Daniels, A and Ryan, CA (2014) Emergence of opiate-induced neonatal abstinence syndrome. Irish Medical Journal, 107, (2), p. 46.

External website: http://www.imo.ie/news-media/publications/February...

Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) is the clinical picture of infants withdrawing from in-utero substance exposure. The incidence of NAS rose in Dublin maternity hospitals in the 1970s and 1980s in parallel with increasing opiate abuse in that city. The purpose of this study was to determine if a similar pattern was emerging in Cork University Maternity Hospital. Data from the Erinville Hospital (2000-2007) and CUMH (2008-2011) were compared.

Sixteen cases of NAS were identified, two at Erinville Hosptial and 14 at CUMH. Five of the 16 mothers were using heroin, while ten were on methadone maintenance. All were multi-drug abusers. Newborns requiring pharmacotherapy for NAS (5/16) had prolonged hospitalisations compared to those requiring supportive care. NAS in Cork is increasing. Primary, secondary and tertiary preventative measures are warranted to prevent further escalation.

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