You Walk Into A Nicu

1177 Words Nov 13th, 2015 5 Pages
You walk into a NICU. As you walk down the halls it is quiet and warm. You continue passing rooms of isolettes and tiny babies. As you near the end of the hall you start to hear the shrill scream of an infant. You look in to see a newborn infant alone in a big room. The cry is one of pain and the baby is inconsolable. The infant’s skin is mottled, its reflexes are hyperactive, and it is breathing rapidly. You are looking at a baby that was born addicted to heroin. I experienced this over the summer while I was doing my externship. Reading about this baby’s story broke my heart, but it also made me say: “what can we do to try to fix this problem.” I haven’t been sure when to start, so I was thrilled when I found out about this assignment. Even just to get my thoughts down on paper and maybe gain some direction of how to introduce this topic is a step in the right direction. First, I want to address some statistics on drug-addicted babies. Approximately 440,000 babies are born each year with a dependency to at least 1 substance. (HRF, 2015). The average cost for a hospital stay for an infant born with opiate withdrawal or other dependency issues is $53,400. (HRF, 2015) “Based on hospitalization figures from 2012, about 5 out of every 1,000 births in the United States is that of a drug addicted baby.” (HRF, 2015). Some of the US states have higher rates of drug-addicted births than others. I have found that the state of Arkansas has some policies in place…
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