News & Events

Opioid-dependent newborns in my West Virginia hometown point to a path out of drug crisis

Higher rates of newborn drug withdrawal shadowed communities experiencing economic decline. Solving the opioid crisis involves more than health care. On a recent fall day, I became reacquainted with the unmistakable beauty of my West Virginia hometown. Bluefield is tucked in a valley with Big Walker Mountain setting its southeastern border, and nearly everywhere you look is breathtaking.

Tennessee Issues First Maternal Mortality Report

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Health today issued the first Maternal Mortality Review report, Tennessee Maternal Mortality Review of 2017 Maternal Deaths. This report describes the state of maternal mortality in Tennessee based on a comprehensive review of deaths of women who died while pregnant or within one year of pregnancy. The goal of this effort by the Tennessee Maternal Mortality Review Committee is to identify opportunities for preventing maternal deaths and promoting women’s health.

Long-term Unemployment Linked to Increase in Babies Born with Drug Withdrawal

Babies born after being exposed to opioids before birth are more likely to be delivered in regions of the U.S. with high rates of long-term unemployment and lower levels of mental health services, according to a study from researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the RAND Corporation. Studying more than 6.3 million births in a diverse group of eight states, the study found that rural counties plagued by long-term unemployment had significantly higher rates of babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome as compared to urban counties with lower unemployment rates.

Vanderbilt Study Spots Economic Link With Drug-Dependent Newborns

Places with high rates of joblessness also seem to have outsized problems with drug-dependent newborns. That's the central finding in a new Vanderbilt study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on Tuesday. Researchers looked at 6.2 million births across eight states, including Tennessee. And for those exposed to opioids in the womb, the map matches up very closely to long-term unemployment rates.

Melania Trump meets with families with babies dependent on drugs during Vanderbilt hospital visit

Melania Trump arrived in Nashville on Tuesday to visit Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt to be briefed on babies born dependent on drugs.  Trump blew bubbles with pediatric patients and got down on kid-level to play trains after attending a roundtable on treatment options for infants of opioid-addicted mothers born in conditions of withdrawal.

Early discharge of NAS infants prolongs treatment

Infants who are diagnosed with drug withdrawal after birth who are treated with medication as outpatients at home are treated three times longer than infants treated solely as inpatients, according to a new Vanderbilt study. Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) is a drug withdrawal syndrome that occurs shortly after birth, and can occur when an infant is exposed to an opioid during the pregnancy.

Integrated, multidisciplinary approach key to opioid fight: panel

No single approach will end the epidemic of fatal overdoses caused by addiction to opioid painkillers and heroin that is ravaging this country, the U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health, Adm. Brett Giroir, MD, warned Tuesday during a panel discussion in a packed lecture hall at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.