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February 1988

Waterbed Care of Narcotic-Exposed Neonates: A Useful Adjunct to Supportive Care

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego.

Am J Dis Child. 1988;142(2):186-188. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1988.02150020088036

• We describe the neonatal course of 30 antenatal narcotic-exposed new-borns, half of whom were randomly assigned to nonoscillating waterbeds and half to conventional bassinets. The infants were comparable at birth regarding drug exposure, ethnicity, maternal medical factors, gestational age, growth, and severity of withdrawal at the time of onset. Evaluation of total and subscores of the abstinence syndrome showed a lower total score and a significantly lower central nervous system subscore on day 5 for infants on waterbeds. The infants on waterbeds required less medication to control symptoms. The waterbed group demonstrated a significantly earlier onset of consistent weight gain as compared with the control group. This study demonstrates that nonoscillating waterbeds are an inexpensive and effective component of supportive therapy in the care of narcotic-exposed neonates.

(AJDC 1988;142:186-188)

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