About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Non-pharmacologic Approaches May Improve Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

by Adeline Dorcas on June 5, 2018 at 4:28 PM
Font : A-A+

Non-pharmacologic Approaches May Improve Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

Non-pharmacologic treatment approaches may improve neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), reports a new study. The findings of the study are published in the Journal of Perinatology.

A quality improvement (QI) initiative at Boston Medical Center that focused on using non-pharmacologic approaches to care for infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) yielded positive short-term outcomes for both the mothers and infants. The results showed a decrease in medication use, length of stay, and healthcare costs.

Advertisement


As the rates of adults with opioid use disorder rise across the country, the rate of infants born exposed to opioids who develop NAS symptoms has also increased. These infants have an average hospital length of stay of 23 days and account for $1.2 billion in annual Medicaid costs. Providers have long used the Finnegan Scale to evaluate NAS symptoms, and the score is then used by providers to determine when to treat with medication, which is often in the form of morphine.

However, recent research has shown non-pharmacologic treatment approaches, like skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding, can improve NAS symptoms, and assessment tools that prioritize certain behaviors, such as how well an infant is eating and sleeping, have been shown to reduce the number of infants who receive medical treatment compared to the Finnegan Scale.
Advertisement

In 2016, BMC implemented these new approaches in the hospital. Non-pharmacologic treatment approaches included parental presence at the infant's bedside, skin to skin contact, and breastfeeding as first-line treatment. Parents were educated about the importance of their presence and contact with their infants, and infants were cared for in a pediatrics inpatient room with a bed for parents once mothers were discharged for their immediate postpartum care.

A cuddling volunteer program supplemented parents' presence and allowed infants to be held when parents were not able to be in the hospital. Additionally, methadone was given instead of morphine to infants who required medication.

These efforts resulted in significant improvements in patient outcomes. The need to treat infants with medication decreased from 87 to 40 percent; the average length of hospital stay decreased from an average of 17 days to 11 days; and average hospital charges per infant decreased to approximately $21,000, down from $32,000.

"Our efforts, which yielded positive results for our patients and our health system, suggests a need to re-evaluate the standard NAS assessment and care both here at BMC and nationally," said Elisha Wachman, MD, lead author of the study and neonatologist who led the initiative at BMC.

"Our ability to make significant, impactful changes in our care practices across several departments in a relatively quick amount of time indicates that these practices can be successfully replicated at other hospitals to improve outcomes for both the mother and the baby, as well as reduce healthcare costs."

BMC has a history of excellence in treating patients with substance use disorders, and between April 2015 and December 2017 treated 275 infants exposed to opioids in utero. During the intervention and directly after its implementation, 139 infants with NAS were treated according to the new care protocols. The results of the initiative were sustained over the 12-month post-intervention period and represented a significant culture shift at the hospital.

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Top 7 Benefits of Good Oral Hygiene
Healthy and Safer Thanksgiving 2021
Long-Term Glycemic Control - A Better Measure of COVID-19 Severity
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome 

Recommended Reading
Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome
Neonatal abstinence syndrome is a condition where newborn babies experience withdrawal symptoms due ...
Mental Health Problems Higher in Mothers of Children Born With Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)
Mothers of infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) have a higher prevalence of mental ......
Buprenorphine Drug : Cuts Down Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms to Nearly Half in Infants
Opioid withdrawal in infants can be cut down to nearly half by using buprenorphine drug, finds ......
Shorter Hospital Stay for Infants Suffering from Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome
A new study shows that variations in genes associated among infants with neonatal abstinence ......

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use