More Rhode Island babies are being born dependent on the opioid drugs their pregnant mothers were taking. Their condition, called neonatal abstinence syndrome, sometimes requires hospital stays and powerful medications. In the second of our two-part series, the story of a newborn going through withdrawal and a young mother trying to make a new life for him in recovery. (You can listen to part one of our series here.)
Visiting baby Jonathan “Where’s everybody headed?”
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.
These newborns are both being treated for withdrawal from opioids in a nursery at Women & Infants. They've been swaddled tightly to help them feel safe and calm, and these "swings" rock them gently from side to side.
The rising number of Rhode Islanders struggling with an addiction to prescription painkillers and heroin has brought an increase in babies born addicted to these substances. And Women & Infants Hospital is treating a growing number of them.
A labor dispute at Women and Infants Hospital in Providence has erupted over the layoff of 16 staff members. The layoffs, and the dispute, turn on the definition of a single word: deliveries.
Members of the Service Employees International Union local 1199 are picketing outside Women and Infants over the hospital’s decision to cut several cleaning, lab, and clinical staff. Union spokesman Patrick Quinn says his members dispute the hospital’s claim that the number of deliveries – and therefore the need for as many staff – has dropped below 8500 over the past year.
You may have heard about a new study to be published in the journal of the American Association of Pediatrics about finding high levels of harmful bacteria in breast milk bought from online sources. Here's USA Today's coverage of that study.
The Westerly Sun reported earlier this month that the attorney in charge of Westerly Hospital since it entered receivership had declared the struggling hospital’s obstetric services safe. But the paper is now reporting that Westerly Hospital will deliver its last babies by this June. Deliveries at the community hospital have fallen over the years, and the hospital may not be able to sustain a large enough roster of doctors to keep the maternity ward doors open.
No pun intended. Well, OK, maybe a little bit intended.
But seriously, folks. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has published its 2012 breastfeeding report card for all 50 states. And Rhode Island seems to be making progress in some areas. But not all. We’re lagging behind on a few key measures. For example, the report shows that about 34% of Rhode Island babies were fed breast milk, exclusively, through the age of three months. The national average is 36%.
First, here’s how the CDC describes what the report aims to tell us and how states play a role: