In most cases, schools across Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee are not aware of whether students were born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) caused by drug exposure in the womb. Carla Worley Saunders, MEDNAX-affiliated neonatal nurse practitioner at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital in Knoxville, Tenn., explains that a child’s medical diagnosis is protected through the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. “The schools do not have access to medical information,” Saunders said. “When I speak with groups from across the country, teachers, pediatricians and child psychologists are reporting a significant increase in behavioral problems, especially among preschool and elementary school-age children. While this correlates with the increase in intrauterine drug exposure and NAS, these issues are multi-factorial.”

Read the full article at the Bristol Herald Courier

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