Management of the Patient in Labor Who Has Abused Substances

*Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia
Clinical obstetrics and gynecology (Impact Factor: 1.77). 03/2013; 56(1):166-172. DOI: 10.1097/GRF.0b013e318282738b
Source: PubMed


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.

6 Reads
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) is a set of drug withdrawal symptoms that affect the central nervous, gastrointestinal, and respiratory systems in the newborn when separated from the placenta at birth. Maternal substance use of opioids, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and alcohol can cause NAS. Universal drug screening via questioning pregnant women is recommended, but identification of drug use is incomplete with this method. This article provides resources for the identification and management of drug use during pregnancy for midwives who provide care not only during the prenatal period but also during the intrapartum and postpartum periods. The impact of drug use on newborns can be significant and may require pharmacologic assistance with the transition to extrauterine life. Challenges involved in caring for the woman who is using drugs during pregnancy include ordering toxicology screens on the newborn, alerting social services, and educating the woman about her newborn's progress. Several measures to comfort a newborn with NAS may help to enable a mother to provide the best care for her newborn.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013 · Journal of midwifery & women's health
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This review focuses on drug use during pregnancy and the perinatal period, a constellation that is seen more often. Drug use in pregnant women poses an increased risk for adverse health outcomes both for the mother and child. Care is often complicated by social and environmental factors, as well as psychiatric comorbidities. It is, therefore, very important to provide drug-using pregnant women with optimal ante-, peri- and post-natal care. Health professionals should approach them in a nonjudgmental and supportive way, and provide them with the same care and attention as nondrug-using women. Adequate care requires interdisciplinary teams. Ideally, healthcare providers should be specialized in the care of drug-using pregnant women.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2014 · Women s Health