Management of the Patient in Labor Who Has Abused Substances
The drug abusing patient can provide a management dilemma for health care providers including nurses, obstetrician, anesthesiologist, and pediatrician. Certain illicit drugs may mimic other diseases of pregnancy and result in inappropriate treatment for the mother and child. Pain management may be challenging in such patients because of increasing drug tolerance and increased sensitivity to pain. This article highlights the clinical presentation in a pregnant patient who may have recently used some of the more commonly abused drugs. The ability to identify such a patient is crucial so that the appropriate screening and treatment can occur.
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