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Safe Care for Maternal Substance Use and Neonatal Drug Withdrawal

Simpson, Kathleen Rice PhD, RNC, CNS-BC, FAAN

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing: September/October 2015 - Volume 40 - Issue 5 - p 336
doi: 10.1097/NMC.0000000000000176
ONGOING COLUMNS: Perinatal Patient Safety

As maternal use and abuse of opioids and other prescription drugs increases, plans are needed for safe care in the inpatient setting for babies with symptoms of drug withdrawal. Staffing a well-baby nursery with a registered nurse to care for one newborn with withdrawal symptoms can negatively affect overall unit staffing and productivity budgets, but based on the population served and recent history of positive maternal and newborn drug screens, predictions can be made for staffing needs and staffing budgets adjusted accordingly.

Kathleen Rice Simpson is a Perinatal Clinical Nurse Specialist in St. Louis, MO, and the Editor in Chief of MCN. Dr. Simpson can be reached via e-mail at

The author declares no conflict of interest.

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