What is including in long-term monitoring of parents and infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS)?

Updated: Dec 20, 2017
  • Author: Ashraf H Hamdan, MD, MBBCh, MSc, MRCP, FAAP; Chief Editor: Santina A Zanelli, MD  more...
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Drug abuse during pregnancy is associated with medical, psychological, and economic problems that require extensive evaluation by qualified service providers. Mothers and fathers of drug-exposed infants need substance abuse treatment and a wide array of services to support them in their parenting role. Provision must be made for such services prior to an infant's discharge.

Provide follow-up care in the first few weeks to months of life to assess infant growth, behavioral characteristics, and motor ability.

Discharging otherwise healthy infants home once they are stable on treatment for neonatal abstinence syndrome can reduce hospital stay and associated costs. However, a safe discharge of the infant requires that support structures within the home and community are in place. In one study, compliance with the necessary clinic attendance was facilitated by establishment of a weekly follow-up clinic. This continuity of care was provided by staff with whom the families were familiar and which met all the families’ needs for the infants, including vaccinations, subspecialist appointments, and prescriptions.

For patient education resources, see the Children's Health Center, Pregnancy Center, and Women's Health Center, as well as Drug Dependence and Abuse, Narcotic Abuse, Substance Abuse, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

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