A Memphis TN Opioid NAS Lawyer Discusses Infant Withdrawal from Opiates
As a opioid NAS lawyer in Memphis TN can attest, the National Center for Health Statistics determined the number of non-methadone synthetic drugs and heroin deaths from 2002 to 2015 increased almost six percent, among all ages.
· In 2016, more than 64,000 people died from drug overdoses. Synthetic opioids caused even more fatal overdoses than prescription painkillers and heroin.
· In 2016, about 14,400 people died from opioid drugs such as Percocet and OxyContin.
· In 2016, more than 20,100 people overdosed on non-methadone synthetic drugs.
Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)
Neonatal opiate withdrawal syndrome has become a national epidemic in America, as a direct result of the large number of pregnant mothers who use and are addicted to opiates. In fact, between 2000 and 2009, neonatal opiate withdrawal syndrome tripled among newborn infants.
Every year, an additional 13,000 infants are addicted to opiates from birth. As a result, they commonly suffer from catastrophic complications, birth defects among them. If a fetus is exposed to an opiate, they can develop NAS, which is a life-threatening condition. If diagnosed as such, when born the infant must stay in the hospital up to a week for treatment and observation. This is very costly.
Infant and In-Utero Opiate Addiction
In addition to the very real risk of death from opiate withdrawal or addiction, infants or babies still in utero may experience one or more of the following complications:
· Birth defects
· Miscarriage or spontaneous abortion
· Premature birth
· Detachment of placenta from the uterus (placental abruption)
· Lower than average birth weight
· Diarrhea and vomiting leading to dehydration
· The circumference of the head is smaller than average
· Cognitive impairment
· Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
· Behavioral disorder
· Mental disability
· Learning delays
When an Infant Experiences Opiate Withdrawal
An infant may not experience symptoms of opiate withdrawal until five-to-ten days after birth. Symptoms can last for weeks and may include any of the following:
· Respiratory distress accompanied by shallow and rapid breathing
· High level of carbon dioxide and low oxygen in the blood, accompanied by asphyxia
· Hypertonicity, or tension in the muscles
· A lack of appetite
· Excessive shrill or high-pitched crying
The Costs of Infant Opiate Addiction and Withdrawal
Treating an infant for opiate addiction is complicated, risky, and expensive. A child’s condition can be exacerbated by a number of factors, each of which may affect the cost of treating them. An incomplete list is as follows:
· Diagnostic testing to determine the existence of opiates in the system and its percentage in the blood or urine.
· Follow up diagnostic testing.
· Drugs to counteract the opiates in the infant’s system.
· Other drug rehabilitation costs.
· Special medical treatment for infants born with defects as a result of in-utero opiate addiction.
· A lifetime of educational and medical costs for the infant through childhood and into adulthood when born with a defect.
Obtaining Justice for Your Infant Is Possible
If any of the above describes what your infant has had to endure, it may be possible to obtain justice for you and your child. Individual and class-action lawsuits are permissible against the pharmaceutical corporations and medical staff responsible who knowingly prescribe opiates to pregnant mothers. You may be entitled to a financial settlement which can cover the costs of your child’s opiate addiction and withdrawal treatment. We offer parents of opiate addicted infants a free consultation. Contact a Memphis TN opioid NAS lawyer from our office immediately to find out more.