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OPIOIDS: Hospital reinvents care model for NAS infants

Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) refers to a withdrawal period that newborns must undergo if they have been exposed to opioids prenatally.  This study was conducted at Cabell Huntington Hospital in Huntington, WV, which is located in an area of the country with a high rate of opioid use.  At the beginning of the study period, newborns with NAS were treated in the 36-bed Level III neonatal intensive care unit at the hospital.  In mid-2012, a new unit was opened at the hospital – a 15-bed neonatal therapeutic unit (NTU) with low lights and low noise and volunteers to rock the babies.  In late 2014, a 12-bed offsite version of the NTU called Lily’s Place was opened.

Comparing Median Charges in These 3 Settings

  • $90,601 (NAS infants cared for in the NICU)
  • $68,750 (NAS infants cared for in the NTU)
  • $17,688 (NAS infants cared for at Lily’s Place – and this figure includes a brief stay in the NTU)

Sources:

Loudin, S., and others. (2017). A management strategy that reduces NICU admissions and decreases charges from the front line of the neonatal abstinence syndrome epidemic. Journal of Perinatology, 37, 1108-1111.   Click here for FREE OPEN ACCESS: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5633652/pdf/jp2017101a.pdf  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

Lily’s Place video here: https://youtu.be/xoAPKF-mOfM

NICUs: What is a small baby unit?

Small baby units take the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) concept to a new level by specializing in the care of the smallest babies – known as micro-preemies – born at fewer than 27 weeks gestation and/or weighing less than 1,000 grams (2.2 pounds).  The design of the units, which are part of a larger NICU, includes providing a dark, quiet environment.  Parents are encouraged to participate in skin-to-skin care (SSC) techniques that fosters bonding, such as Kangaroo Mother Care.  Caregivers are teamed up to deliver two-person care when the micro-preemies need to be touched.  As the babies grow, they may be transitioned out of the small baby unit to the NICU.

Hospitals with Small Baby Units (this is not a comprehensive list)

  • Advocate Lutheran General Hospital (Park Ridge, IL)
  • Children’s Hospital (Orange, CA)
  • Greenville Health System (Greenville, SC)
  • Helen Devos Children’s Hospital (Grand Rapids, MI)
  • Mercyhealth Hospital-Rockton Avenue (Rockford, IL)
  • Nationwide Children’s Hospital (Columbus, OH)

Sources:

Gonya, J., and others. (2017). Investigating skin-to-skin care patterns with extremely preterm infants in the NICU and their effect on early cognitive and communication performance: A retrospective cohort study. BMJ Open, 7.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5372108/pdf/bmjopen-2016-012985.pdf

GHS launches NICU small baby unit. (2017, May 12). WSPA-TV. http://wspa.com/2017/05/12/ghs-launches-nicu-small-baby-unit/

Jackson, A. (2015, December 9).  Born at 25 weeks weighing less than 2 pounds, ‘spunky’ girl survives in small baby unit. MLive. http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2015/12/small_baby_nicu_at_devos_child.html

Morris, M., Cleary, P., and Soliman, A. (2015, October). Small baby unit improves quality and outcomes in extremely low birth weight infants. Pediatrics, 136(4).  http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/pediatrics/136/4/e1007.full.pdf

Watley, K. (2017, February 6). Mercyhealth in Rockford opens region’s first small baby unit to care for micro-preemies. https://mercyhealthsystem.org/mercyhealth-opens-small-baby-unit-rockford/

Woloshyn, E. (2017, April 20). Special unit mimics mother’s womb. Health enews.

http://www.ahchealthenews.com/2017/04/20/special-unit-mimics-mothers-womb/  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050 rc@aha.org

NICU: Length of stay 109 days for technology-dependent babies at Rainbow Babies & Children’s

What is this study? A retrospective medical record review for 93 babies discharged from NICU at one hospital.

More about it: Researchers studied the care needed by babies who were discharged home from the neonatal intensive care unit at Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital (Cleveland) during a recent two- year period.  Data on 71 babies who were technology dependent were compared with 22 who were not.  Here are some findings:

Technology-Dependent Newborns Discharged from NICU

  • 66 percent needed supplemental oxygen at home
  • 46 percent needed feeding tubes at home
  • 16 percent needed tracheostomy at home
  • 16 percent needed mechanical ventilation at home

Newborns discharged home dependent on technology had an initial stay in the NICU of about 109 days compared to about 26 days for those discharged home non-dependent on technology.

Hospital readmission risk indicators for the technology-dependent group included: being female, having a gastrostomy tube or having initial lengthy NICU stay.

Sources:

NICU-t0-home transition can be tricky. (2016, June). Managed Care, 25(6), 8.  Click here: http://www.managedcaremag.com/archives/2016/6/nicu-home-transition-can-be-tricky

Toly, V.B., and others. (2016, June 7). Neonates and infants discharged home dependent on medical technology: Characteristics and outcomes. Advances in Neonatal Care,   Click here:  http://journals.lww.com/advancesinneonatalcare/pages/articleviewer.aspx?year=9000&issue=00000&article=99928&type=abstract