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Program introduced for universal drug testing of pregnant women
Programs which involve universal drug testing for pregnant women are now being launched in many hospitals around the country.
The goal is to identify babies -- who may be at risk for serious health concerns due to withdrawl.
The the sound of music
The excitement of a new life --
The hustle and bustle of busy baby care --
These are all the things associated with a newborn baby -- which is why something like this -- is often missed:
Dr. Amy Nathan, Neonatologist
The incidence of babies exposed to drugs has risen five fold in the last five years.
Doctor Amy Nathan is a Neonatologist
Who is part of a team supporting universal drug testing for pregnant women --
Our current data suggests that almost 4 % of babies delivering are exposed to some sort of opiate in utero.
She says the most common complications right now are due to withdrawl from prescription drugs -- and the problem?
A baby doesn't know whether or not you have a prescription for it.
So each mom who comes in for delivery is now asked to submit a urine sample for drug testing --
Question: So what happens if a woman tests positive for prescription or any other drugs?
The baby is not going to be taken away
The team will just be looking for symptoms of withdrawl after delivery -which include:
Tremors, excessive crying, diarrhea, and in severe situations seizure.
Who gets that information then if a woman has a positive test?
The information is used for the medical care of the baby and the medical care of the mother to provide services the family needs, and it is not public information.
A mother does have the right to opt out --
A mother has the right to refuse this test or any other test in the hospital, a refusal would likely prompt a little more close scrutiny,, watching the baby for signs of withdrawl
In most cases this takes about two to five days -- which could lead to a longer stay because often women are discharged soon after birth.
At children's hospital medical center
Some hospitals also have programs for mothers during and following pregnancy to help kick addiction.
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