Department of Health pilot program aims to improve care of opioid-exposed infants

WNTZ - The Louisiana Department of Health has selected Woman’s Hospital in Baton Rouge and Slidell Memorial Hospital to participate in the Department’s Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome Pilot Project.

Use of opioids during pregnancy can result in a drug withdrawal syndrome in newborns called neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) or neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome (NOWS).

The incidence of NOWS is rising in the United States and Louisiana, with a doubling of these numbers between 2013 and 2018 in some areas of the state. This poses challenges to families, communities and providers. This syndrome carries an enormous burden in terms of how long new mothers and their babies remain hospitalized, as well as the costs associated with providing care and treatment.