Thank you to the authors Drs. Tolia, Spitzer, and Clark for their contributions over the weekend.
So now that we are armed with this information about the increasing incidence of NAS in US NICUs, what do we do with it?
The elephant in the room, as the second paragraph of the discussion section eloquently suggests, is that this signal of many more babies with NAS is due in part to increasing opioid use among pregnant women. On one hand, we must uncover new information about this disease process in late preterm versus term infants. On the other hand, unless we find ways of combating this disease at its source and reduce opioid use among pregnant women, the number of infants with NAS will continue to increase.
If some of our OB colleagues are out there, is there awareness of this problem in the OB community? Is there data about increasing opioid use in pregnant women? Are there any examples of public health change initiatives targeting this problem? What has or has not worked?