Scoring Tools Used to Assess and Treat Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

Mallory Bivens,

Published on: 2024-03-06


This literature review was intended to evaluate the different scoring tools used to assess and treat term and preterm infants experiencing neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). This study also demonstrated the ways scoring tools and treatment can be improved. Many scoring tools for NAS are subjective and the validation of some of these tools used has not been proven yet. Scoring tools that aim to reduce the number of infants that require pharmacologic treatment and keep the mother and infant together are effective ways to care for NAS. Rural and economically disadvantaged areas and stigma are barriers to the assessment and treatment of NAS. These barriers can delay treatment and result in increased complications. Improvements in NAS scoring need to be made to better assess and treat withdrawal after delivery. A scoring tool designed specifically for preterm infants to guide treatment for NAS should be developed. Removing barriers to care can help improve the quality of care and treatment the infant receives and can aid in the early detection of NAS. Early detection is imperative because it allows treatment to be started sooner and can decrease the long-term outcomes of infants.

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