Quick Facts on Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

neonatal abstinence syndrome

Prenatal opioid use can cause babies to develop neonatal abstinence syndrome.

Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) defines a group of health conditions newborns experience after exposure to addictive opiate or other drugs while it was in the womb of their mother. Unfortunately, birth mothers prescribed an opioid pain killer may not have realized the effect the drug would have on their fetus during pregnancy. In this instance, blame for a child being born with NAS is not their fault.

Drug manufacturers misleading the public about the addictive nature of opiods face accusations of blame. As do medical professionals that prescribe the drugs to treat long-term chronic pain.

Which Drugs Could Lead to NAS?

While some drugs are more likely to result in NAS than others, prenatal opioid use can lead over half of the babies exposed to develop NAS. Opioids are extremely addictive.

A medical professional can prescribe these painkillers to the mother during pregnancy. Sadly, even strictly following the doctor’s dosage or usage instructions can still result in NAS in the baby. Some of these prescription opioids include:

  • Morphine
  • Oxycodone
  • Hydrocodone
  • Tramadol
  • Codeine

Further, use of opioid-like drugs to combat opioid addictions can result in the baby being born with NAS and having to suffer from withdrawal. However, any pregnant woman currently taking opioids should talk to their doctor or health care provider. Do not attempt to quit ‘cold turkey.’ Stopping too quickly can result in significant harm to both the mother and the infant.

How Long Does It Take for a Baby to Withdraw?

The amount of time to take for a baby to withdraw from an opioid drug varies. The variance is determined by the type of drug and the duration of use. For some, NAS symptoms will resolve after seven to 10 days. For others, it may take up to 30 days or more. However, the most extreme cases can take as long as six months to stop.

Complications Of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

Newborns have been diagnosed with hydrocephaly, glaucoma, certain congenital heart defects, spina bifida, or gastroschisis due to addiction to prescribed opioids.

Additionally, researchers have linked NAS to significant long-term behavioral delays such as:

  • Aggressiveness
  • Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
  • Failure to thrive
  • Hyperactivity
  • Impulsivity
  • Reduced social engagement
  • Reduced social responsivity

When Should You Seek Legal Consul

If your child was kept in the hospital for prolong care and treatment due to an NAS diagnosis, you may have grounds to take legal action against opioid manufacturers or a medical professional. You also may be due compensation to cover treatments, recovery, lost wages and emotional hardship.

At Mike Brandner Injury Attorneys, our legal team puts experience, dedication, and knowledge to work in the aggressive pursuit to seek justice. We’re your 24/7 Injury Attorneys. Call us any time, day or night, at (504) 345-1111.

The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.