Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) is becoming more and more prevalent today. The number of women who are using narcotics while they are pregnant continues to rise. Neonatal abstinence syndrome may occur when a pregnant woman takes narcotics that cross the placenta to the fetus. The fetus then becomes dependent on the drug. When the infant is born, they are no longer receiving the drug. A large percent of these infants will go on to develop withdrawal signs and symptoms after birth. Since there has been no consistency in providing specific standardized care for treating infants with NAS, the purpose of this literature review was to explore if any studies provided evidence of the best standards of care for these infants. Studies have shown that when implementing guidelines and protocols for neonatal abstinence syndrome, the length of pharmacological therapy and the length of stay in the hospital are both decreased. Communication among healthcare workers, as well as having a committee who comes together to see what is effective or not with the care of these infants have been shown to be positive influences in standardizing the care. Standardizing the care also helps with identifying infants with NAS sooner and helps guide their treatment by using the Finnegan NAS scoring system. Improvements in identification and care will lead to better outcomes and shorter lengths of hospitalization.
Thompson, Marissa and McClaskey, Barbara, "Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome" (2019). Posters. 59.