The Metro Drug Coalition is raising awareness for Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) through the Pearls and Bowties for Babies campaign in Tennessee. Kyle Cook, MEDNAX-affiliated neonatal nurse practitioner at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital (ETCH) in Knoxville, works with NAS babies firsthand. “We usually have about 30 percent of our babies that are in the NICU being treated solely for NAS, so those babies are there for the sole purpose of treating their withdrawal symptoms,” said Cook. She discusses the withdrawal symptoms babies experience, which are similar to those that adults have, including tremors, inconsolable crying, difficulty sleeping, profuse diarrhea and vomiting, and sometimes seizures. “At ETCH, we have a holistic approach – we try and treat the symptoms without medications but often times babies do need medication to get them through withdrawal symptoms.” The entire community is addressing the opioid crisis as a whole now, she notes, which is key for prevention.
View the full segment at WATE-TV’s Living East Tennessee