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Home > Advances in management of neonatal abstinence syndrome: what’s the score?

Shanahan, Katie M and O'Grady, Michael J (2018) Advances in management of neonatal abstinence syndrome: what’s the score? Irish Medical Journal , 111 , (7) .

URL: http://imj.ie/july-august-2018-e1-advances-in-mana...


Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) is a constellation of symptoms and signs of withdrawal developing in infants following intrauterine exposure to opioids. In Ireland currently, this is typically methadone substitution for treatment of heroin addiction. In the United States, NAS has been declared an epidemic with a 5-fold increase in incidence between 2000 and 2012 and a current prevalence as high as 2% of live births.1,2  In Ireland, data from the Hospital Inpatient Enquiry (HIPE) system indicates that between 2012 and 2016, 501 infants were treated for NAS; half of whom were in the three Dublin maternity hospitals. The most recent survey of practice within neonatal units in Ireland and the UK3 identified widespread variation in methods for assessment and treatment of NAS, reflecting the lack of quality evidence upon which current treatment regimens are based.

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