Senate advances bill to aid drug-dependent newborns

From Reuters,

“A bipartisan bill designed to improve the health and safety of babies born to mothers who used heroin or other opioids during pregnancy was approved by a U.S. Senate committee on Wednesday.

…Reuters found 110 cases of children who were exposed to opioids while in the womb and who later died preventable deaths at home. No more than nine states comply with a 2003 law that calls on hospitals to alert social workers whenever a baby is born dependent on drugs, Reuters found.

…The proposal approved by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Wednesday calls for better “plans of safe care” to help drug-dependent mothers raise newborns as the babies suffer through opioid withdrawal.

If it becomes law, the measure would also require states to report each year the number of infants identified as born drug-dependent, and the number for whom plans of safe care are developed. Thousands of newborns do not receive such plans, Reuters found.”



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