Promising New Model of Care for Opioid Exposed Babies

Baby in pain

Neonatal exposure to opioids places babies at risk for a painful condition called neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome (NOW). Symptoms of this condition may include respiratory problems, seizures, severe irritability, sleep disruption, and difficulty feeding.

At least one baby in the U.S. is born every 24 minutes with NOW.

Researchers recently investigated whether a treatment approach called “Eat, Sleep, Console” (ESC) might be more effective than the more common 50-year-old approach to care – the Finnegan Neonatal Abstinence Scoring Tool (FNAST). Eat, Sleep, and Console focuses on the comfort and care of these infants while focusing on drug-free treatment options and increasing family involvement in the child’s care.

Preliminary results of their work have just been published in the New England Journal of Medicine.[i] 

According to the paper:

A total of 1305 infants were enrolled. In an intention-to-treat analysis that included 837 infants who met the trial definition for medical readiness for discharge, the number of days from birth until readiness for hospital discharge was 8.2 in the Eat, Sleep, Console group and 14.9 in the usual-care group (adjusted mean difference, 6.7 days; 95% confidence interval [CI], 4.7 to 8.8), for a rate ratio of 0.55 (95% CI, 0.46 to 0.65; P<0.001). The incidence of adverse outcomes was similar in the two groups.

The research team hopes their work will lead to the broader use of Eat, Sleep, Console for the care of these children.

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol and need help in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Kentucky, or Indiana, the recovery teams at Aware Recovery Care are here to help. And we come to you, regardless of where you live. Our unique in-home treatment model of care gives clients a significantly better chance of recovery than traditional inpatient rehab care. Please get in touch with one of our Recovery Specialists to learn more.