Volunteer cuddler Patricia “Pat” Jordan cares for some of the youngest patients inside the neonatal intensive care unit at Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies in Orlando, Fla. She spends several days a week cuddling babies affected by Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), which affects around 150 babies born at Winnie Palmer Hospital per year, caused by opioids. MEDNAX-affiliated neonatologist, Dr. Douglas Hardy, said that in severe cases they have to treat NAS babies with more drugs, but volunteers like Jordan help soothe and care for them when their parents cannot be at the hospital. “Just being held by a volunteer is a tremendous improvement; it keeps the babies calm, and does a lot of things that ultimately benefit the baby’s care, and if we can keep them calm then we don’t have to use drugs,” Hardy said.

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