TRI-CITIES, WA - Local doctors are seeing an increased number of babies that are suffering from drug withdrawal.
Doctors at Kadlec Regional Medical Center said drugs and alcohol can impact your baby's health and development. They are seeing that right inside their hospital doors with newborns being taken immediately to the ICU because of the exposure to drugs.
This is uncommon to see that many babies at a given time being admitted to the ICU who need more treatment. And sometimes, doctors do not know exactly what kinds of drugs the babies are being exposed to.
Being exposed to drugs and alcohol can also lengthen the stay at hospitals up to weeks, even months.
Babies can also experience having feeding difficulties whether that is breast feeding or using bottles. They could also encounter sleep problems and increased fussiness.
Local doctors said being exposed to drugs and alcohol has long-term effects parents may not realize.
"Even long term they have problems with their language and speech and learning difficulties and they may not be a pair with their peers at school and they may fall back," Doctor Kashish Mehra, MD with Kadlec Regional Medical Center Main Hospital said.
Even though doctors have medicine to help, the medicine could also has side effects.
There are many resources in the community. You are encouraged to call the Kadlec Medical Center Resource Desk. They can help you find the appropriate care and treatment you need to better service these babies whether that is in Kadlec or in the community that is state-run.