More Rhode Island babies are being born dependent on the opioid drugs (including OxyContin and heroin) their pregnant mothers were taking. Many of these babies need hospital stays and powerful medication to help them through the painful withdrawal. Now, researchers at Women & Infants Hospital are trying to pin down what treatments work best, and what the long-term impacts are. Part one of our two-part series on newborns in withdrawal.
The state’s health department says the number of babies born in Rhode Island to mothers dependent on opiates has nearly doubled in the past few years.
In 2012, it was 90 babies, more than double the number in 2005. So far, in the first quarter of this year, it’s 26 newborns.
This is the first time health department researchers have compiled statistics on babies diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome, a collection of symptoms that afflict babies in withdrawal from the drugs they were exposed to in the womb.
Tonight, the public will have the chance to comment on the proposed sale of CharterCare Health Partners – which owns Our Lady of Fatima and Roger Williams hospitals – to California-based Prospect Medical Holdings. But the process hasn’t been without some bumps in the road.
The public comment period has ended and now the Rhode Island health department must decide whether United Healthcare can cut Landmark Medical Center from its insurance network. The decision could affect thousands of patients.
Elderly Latinos in Rhode Island and their families may not be aware of the programs available to help them. That’s the premise of a conference planned for Wednesday at Rhode Island College.
RIC’s gerontology program is hosting the conference, called “Meeting the Needs of Latino Elderly.” The idea is to draw attention to state programs Latinos and their families might not know about because of language barriers or immigration status. But Latino community advocate and conference moderator Delia Rodriquez Masjoan said those aren’t the only reasons.
A statewide electronic health records program must be more transparent and offer patients more privacy protections. That’s the result of a suit brought by the Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.
A cadre of dental health care providers will attempt to provide free dental care for 1,000 uninsured patients next month. Organizers have announced the dates for the third annual free dental clinic.
The Rhode Island Oral Health Foundation says volunteers will to try to help hundreds of patients over May 31st and June 1st on the campus of the Community College of Rhode Island. It's called the Rhode Island Mission of Mercy free dental clinic. The idea is to help poor patients with urgent dental problems.
From left to right: State police chief Col. Stephen O'Donnell, Governor Lincoln Chafee, Health department director Dr. Michael Fine, Dept. of Behavior Health head Craig Stenning, and the Providence Center's Jim Gillen at a press conference Thursday at the Anchor Community Recovery Center in Pawtucket, discuss a reporter's question.
State leaders have announced some new steps in the fight against prescription painkiller and heroin addiction. The news accompanies the release of the latest grim numbers of drug overdose deaths.
Rhode Island health department head Michael Fine told a standing-room-only crowd at the Anchor Community Recovery Center in Pawtucket that 85 people have died since January from suspected drug overdoses, mostly heroin. Hundreds more have overdosed but survived, he said, thanks to an antidote called Narcan, which first responders carry.
For the second time this season, the Rhode Island health department has declared flu widespread. That means that any unvaccinated health care workers must wear surgical masks around patients until the declaration of “widespread” is lifted. Flu was declared widespread in Rhode Island for most of January and February this year. But the health department says this time is more intense than the first.
The dominant strain now affects the elderly, in particular. 13 people have died from flu in Rhode Island this season, all of them in their 80s and 90s.