Am J Perinatol 2017; 34(06): 576-584
DOI: 10.1055/s-0036-1596054
Original Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Early Treatment for Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome: A Palliative Approach

Jennifer Hudson
1  Department of Pediatrics, Greenville Health System, Greenville, South Carolina
,
Rachel Mayo
2  Department of Public Health Sciences, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina
,
Lori Dickes
3  Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina
,
Liwei Chen
2  Department of Public Health Sciences, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina
,
Windsor Westbrook Sherrill
2  Department of Public Health Sciences, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina
,
Julie Summey
2  Department of Public Health Sciences, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina
,
Bradley Dalton
2  Department of Public Health Sciences, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina
,
Kindal Dankovich
4  University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville, Greenville, South Carolina
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

02 July 2016

25 October 2016

Publication Date:
01 December 2016 (eFirst)

Abstract

Objective To describe medical, safety, and health care utilization outcomes associated with an early treatment model for neonatal opioid withdrawal.

Study Design This is a retrospective review of 117 opioid-exposed infants born in a large regional hospital and treated in the level I nursery with methadone initiated within 48 hours of birth.

Results For this cohort, mean length of stay was 8.3 days. Hospital safety events were infrequent; there were no medication errors or deaths. Within 30 days of discharge, 14% of infants visited the emergency department; 7% were readmitted. Per birth, mean hospital charges were $10,946.96; mean costs were $5,908.93.

Conclusion This study is the first to describe an early treatment model in a low-acuity nursery to prevent severe neonatal opioid withdrawal. The described model may be safe, effective, low-cost, and feasible for replication.