News & Events

From Health Affairs: Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome Linked To US Foster Care Cases

Both the number of US infants diagnosed with neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome (NOWS) and infants entering US foster care have grown substantially since 2009. A new study, released ahead of print by Health Affairs, seeks for the first time to determine whether the two have an association and whether other county-level factors were also related to infant foster care rates.

VUMC expands programming in effort to help pregnant and postpartum women, infants in opioid crisis

The opioid crisis — now one of the leading causes of maternal mortality — continues to rage in Tennessee. A newly created program at Vanderbilt University Medical Center is aiming to address the increasing toll the opioid crisis is having on pregnant and postpartum women and their infants.

New clinical report updates issues around neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome

The U.S. has experienced a surge in the use of prescription opioids, and the use of illicit heroin and fentanyl that affects nearly every segment of the population, including pregnant women and those of reproductive age (Paulozzi LJ, et al. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2011;60:1487-1481). This has led to a significant increase in the incidence of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome (NOWS), resulting in prolonged hospitalizations and elevated health care costs (Strahan AE, et al. JAMA Pediatr. 2020;174:200-202).

What Parents of Babies and Toddlers Need Right Now

After months of various forms of quarantine and social distancing, families are stressed to the max. Those with babies and toddlers may be hurting the most due to younger children’s need for intensive caregiving. Moms, dads, and other caregivers are being asked to hold their fingers in the dam, and it’s threatening to burst.

Child care stress, hunger harming U.S. families during pandemic

With everyday life turned upside down, efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are taking a toll on the well-being and health of American families, a new poll reveals. More than 1,000 parents nationwide were surveyed in early June. "Without question, COVID-19 had a sudden and profound effect on families nationwide," said survey leader Dr. Stephen Patrick. He's director of the Center for Child Health Policy at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville.

Pandemic Takes Toll on Family Mental Health

As COVID-19 infections ravaged the country from March to June, parent and child well-being felt the ripple effects, according to a national survey. Among 1,011 parents who responded to the survey, 26.9% said their mental health had worsened, 14.3% said their children's behavioral health had declined, and 9.6% said both their mental health and their children's behavioral health had slumped, reported Stephen W. Patrick, MD, MPH, of the Vanderbilt Center for Child Health Policy in Nashville, and colleagues.

Vanderbilt Study Finds 1.5 Million More Kids Are Going Hungry Because Of The Pandemic

The pandemic’s ripple effects have meant 1.5 million more kids are going hungry, according to a new study in the medical journal Pediatrics. The polling data puts numbers to a food insecurity problem that has been occurring out of sight. The study is based on national polling of parents with kids under 18. And roughly 2% said that since March, they have become unable to afford all the food they need.