The babies are frantic — their cries are inconsolable and it’s difficult to watch. Just days old, they are in withdrawal from heroin.
“The withdrawal impacts their entire body,” said Dr. Jamie Limjoco, a neonatologist and head of the neonatal intensive care unit at Madison’s American Family Children’s Hospital. “The nurses who care for them need to have a lot of patience. The babies have difficulty eating, sleeping and they are sweaty and frantic.”
NICU staff provide the necessary drugs and care for about five weeks to ensure the baby is safely weaned from opioids, Limjoco said. But the infants born addicted to heroin and other opiates suffer immensely as they learn to live without the drugs.
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