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D’Apolito Lands Grant to Study Drug Dependent Infants

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing’s Karen D’Apolito, PhD, APRN, NNP-BC, FAAN was recently awarded a grant to examine the growing problem of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) — infants who are drug dependent at birth.

Funded by the Tennessee State Department of Health, D’Apolito will develop and implement a comprehensive survey to gather specific care practices of health care professionals who treat Tennessee infants with NAS. That data will be compared to determine the most widely used care practices in an effort to develop protocols that will improve outcomes and decrease the cost of care for infants with NAS across the state.

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome is on the rise across the country and in Tennessee.  Recently, Tennessee reported 855 cases with an estimated cost of care exceeding $22 million statewide.  This new study will endeavor to determine which factors contribute to the high cost practices ranging from treating these infants in an intensive care unit versus a newborn nursery, prolonged length of hospital stay due to the drug treatment regimens and hospital re-admissions.

D’Apolito will report the study findings to the State of Tennessee in spring 2015.




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