2022 Pediatric Research Forum Poster Session

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The SARS-CoV-2 (Covid19) pandemic is a disaster that has created stress and change at every level of society. Medical systems implemented increased infection control measures to prevent nosocomial disease. A group of infants who are experiencing this new hospital milieu are infants with neonatal opiate withdrawal syndrome (NOWS.) Infants with pre-natal opiate exposure may experience NOWS, characterized by fussiness, crying, poor feeding, sleep problems, increased muscle tone, and tremors. Newborns with NOWS need inpatient care, soften for as long as 2-3 weeks. Starting April of 2020, all caregivers for hospitalized newborns, including parents and nurses, are required to wear masks at all times, fewer visitors are allowed, and the volunteer cuddler program was suspended. The impacts of the neonatal experience of prolonged care by masked adults during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic are unknown. We hypothesize that infants with NOWS, hospitalized during pandemic, may be experiencing more severe clinical course secondary to decreased accessibility of soothing caregivers. We therefore aim to conduct a before-after study of NOWS severity for infants hospitalized at UNMH before and during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. We hypothesize that infants in the second cohort will experience longer hospitalizations, require more medications and have higher Finnegan scores. The dataset for these cohorts is currently being generated by the UNM CTSC.



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