Amid America's ongoing opioid epidemic, our most vulnerable population is often forgotten because they are seldom seen.
Nearly every 25 minutes a baby is born with symptoms of opioid withdrawal. These suffering children require immediate special care in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). They need help, their parents need help, and the medial professionals responsible for assisting these families need help.
MetaMD has designed an educational program that provides critical information necessary to care for a baby suffering withdrawal, or neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). Our goal is to make this life-changing education available to all hospitals as rapidly as possible.
In 2017 the government declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency. Daily, the media talks about the tremendous increase in opioid misuse and related overdoses; however, most people are not aware of the devastating consequences of the rising incidence of newborns experiencing withdrawal due to their mother’s opioid use during pregnancy.
This is NOT always caused by women using illegal drugs. In fact, of the babies born with NAS, almost 70% are born to mothers using legal prescription drugs.
"The babies shake, sweat, vomit, and hold their bodies stiff as planks. They eat and sleep fitfully.
Swaddled, they lie in bassinets or in the arms of nurses, parents, or volunteers. The place doesn’t
have the hustle or beeping machinery of an ICU. Instead there are dim lights and hushed conversations
because the babies need calm and quiet. Many also need methadone or other medication to relieve
their symptoms. They are weaned from it over days or weeks."
Educating parents of NAS babies is critical. Effective education is time consuming and requires more than handouts and verbal explanations to parents who are stressed, scared, and often embarrassed or ashamed about their situations. In addition to the standard education a new mother typically receives, NAS moms must also understand the additional, special needs of her baby. That's why we worked with physicians and clinicians to develop the NAS Parent Educator™ program.
Our NAS parent education is already being used successfully in several hospitals. However, to make a larger and faster impact, additional funding is needed. With your help, we can make it available to all hospitals nationwide.