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Non-insertive Acupuncture and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome: A Case Series From an Inner-city Safety Net Hospital

Global Advances in Health and Medicine
Global Advances in Health and Medicine
Publication Date
DOI: 10.7453/gahmj.2012.1.4.007
  • Case Report
  • Medicine


Objective: We report on the safety of non-insertive acupuncture (NIA) in 54 newborns diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) in a busy inner-city hospital. Methods: For this case series, a retrospective chart review was conducted. Data on participant demographics, number of NIA treatments, provider referrals, and outcomes of interest (sleeping, feeding, and adverse events) were collected. Results: Of the 54 newborns receiving NIA, 86% were non-Hispanic white; 87% were on Medicaid, and gestational age ranged from 33.2 to 42.1 weeks. Out of 54 chart reviews, a total of 92 NIA sessions were documented ranging from 1 to 6 sessions per infant. Of the total number of treatments (n = 92), 73% were requested by a physician. Chart reviews reported that restless infants calmed down during NIA, babies slept through or fell asleep immediately following NIA, and better feeding was noted following NIA. There were no adverse events noted in the medical records. Conclusions: This retrospective chart review shows potential for the use of NIA as an adjunctive treatment in newborns with NAS symptoms during hospitalization. More research is necessary to study whether the incorporation of NIA can result in positive outcomes in newborns withdrawing from narcotics.

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