New report system hopes to reduce number of babies born with drug addiction

10:12 PM, Nov 28, 2012   |    comments
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The state health department is hoping to combat the rising number of babies born addicted to drugs with a new report system.

Babies born addicted suffer from Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. They often spend many days in the hospital going through the withdrawal process, which includes seizures, tremors, fever and vomiting.

Back in June, East Tennessee Children's Hospital told us about how 40 percent of its babies in the neonatal intensive care unit were dependent on opiates. The hospital pioneered a treatment to slowly wean babies off the drugs.

Statewide, the health department says 10 times more babies were born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome in 2010 than in 2000.

To change that, the health department will begin requiring hospitals to report babies born with the syndrome beginning January 1.

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