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Opioid-Addicted Babies – Get Compensation For NAS in Tennessee

Are you in charge of caring for a baby born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, also called NAS? We understand the severe emotional and financial impact that caring for these babies has on families. You don’t have to face this alone.

The sad effects of the opioid epidemic have ravaged the lives of people in Tennessee, and recently the voices of the opioid epidemic’s smallest victim, babies born addicted to opioids, have finally come to be heard. Babies born to mothers who used opioids while pregnant are being diagnosed with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), and lawsuits are now being filed against large pharmaceutical companies seeking compensation for these children.

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome is a severe type of drug withdrawal that occurs in newborns exposed to addictive opiate drugs while in the womb. As America’s opioid crisis grows, the number of babies born with NAS continues to increase at an alarming rate. According to the CDC, approximately one baby is diagnosed with NAS every 19 minutes – that’s about 80 newborns daily.

Tennessee has been the first state to make this condition reportable to the department of health and also is the first state with a ruling to legally pursue NAS cases. Subsequently, in response to the opioid crisis in Knoxville, Nashville, the Tri-Cities area, and throughout Tennessee, lawsuits are being filed against major opioid manufacturers by mothers and caregivers of babies born with NAS. Contact Hughes & Coleman® right now for a free, no-obligation consultation and learn how we can help seek compensation for these children.

Are you caring for a baby born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome? Our lawyers will review your case to determine if you may be entitled to compensation. Contact us right now. Call 800-800-4600 or fill out the online submission with your information, and we will contact you to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

What is Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)?

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) is a category of conditions that a baby experiences when withdrawing from drugs that he or she was exposed to while still in the womb. NAS is sometimes referred to as NOWS, which stands for Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome. Doctors may prescribe opioids for pain relief, but when the expectant mother takes the drugs, they can pass through the placenta and into the womb that supplies food and oxygen to the baby.

Commonly prescribed opioids include:

  • Oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet)
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
  • Codeine
  • Morphine (Kadian, Avinza)
  • Tramadol

After being exposed to these drugs in the womb, babies may be born with a continued dependency on the substance. Since the drug is no longer being supplied to them, their central nervous systems may be overstimulated, causing withdrawal symptoms.

Common Signs and Symptoms of NAS

Babies will typically manifest signs of NAS between 24 hours and 10 days from the time they are born. The type of symptoms and their severity may differ depending on what drug the mother took, the amount that was taken, and the length of time the baby was exposed to it. Some symptoms may last for up to 6 months after birth.

Signs of NAS include:

  • Body shakes, tremors, overactive reflexes, seizures
  • Excessive crying, high-pitched cry
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Breathing problems, fast breathing
  • Throwing up
  • Diarrhea
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Poor feeding

What Are the Long-Term Effects of NAS?

There is still far too much that is unknown about the long-term effects of NAS. Babies born with NAS may have to spend a lengthy period of time in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU), receiving special care and treatment.

In addition to the withdrawal symptoms, the following complications have been linked to NAS:

  • Jaundice
  • Low birth-weight
  • Seizures
  • Respiratory complications
  • Vision, hearing, and speech problems
  • Developmental delays
  • Delayed motor skills
  • Behavioral issues
  • Heart problems
  • Bone issues
  • Kidney problems
  • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
  • Brain damage
  • Growth problems
  • Poor balance and coordination

How NAS is Diagnosed

The diagnosis of NAS is made based on a history of drug abuse in the mother. An accurate report of the mother’s drug use is important, including the last time a drug was taken.

A medical professional may use tests to determine if a newborn has NAS, including:

  • Meconium test: An evaluation of the baby’s bowel movement.
  • Urinalysis assessment: An evaluation of the baby’s urine.
  • Neonatal Abstinence scoring system: This system uses points to grade how severe a baby’s withdrawal symptoms are. Points are assigned to specific signs or symptoms and are tracked over an approximate 7 day period after the baby is born. The scoring can help determine what treatment plan the baby needs.

How Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome is Treated

The treatment for NAS depends on what each individual baby’s symptoms are and on the severity of his or her condition. Babies suffering from NAS will likely be irritable and difficult to comfort. They may benefit from skin-to-skin care or being wrapped snugly in a blanket. Due to increased activity, a baby suffering from NAS may require IV fluids if dehydrated or extra calories added to his or her feeding.

Some babies with NAS may need medications to treat their symptoms and prevent complications such as seizures. In some cases, babies can be given a small amount of a drug in the same drug family as the one they were exposed to in the womb before birth.

Methadone is an example of a drug often used for opioid withdrawal. Once the withdrawal symptoms are controlled, the baby is slowly weaned off of the drug.

What Does It Cost To Treat Babies With NAS?

The medical costs to treat a baby with NAS can be as high as $60,000 or more. If the child’s medical condition requires long-term care, the costs associated with treatment can far exceed that amount.

For this reason, Hughes & Coleman® is fighting to obtain financial compensation for families like yours. You shouldn’t have to bear the financial burden of medical care for the treatment of NAS when large pharmaceutical companies are to blame.

The Tennessee Drug Dealer Liability Act - How Babies Born With NAS Are Affected

The State of Tennessee has the second-highest rate of opioid prescriptions per capita in the entire nation. The astounding number of people in Tennessee being affected by opioid abuse has prompted lawmakers to take action. The Tennessee Drug Dealer Liability Act allows “a person or company that knowingly participates in the illegal drug market to be sued for injuries caused by illegal drug use.”

Under this law, illegal drug distribution not only applies to dealers selling opioids such as heroin on the street but can also apply to unscrupulous doctors who are over-prescribing opioids.

Under a new ruling issued in December 2020, the Tennessee State Supreme Court stated that large pharmaceutical companies can be sued under the Tennessee Drug Dealer Liability Act. Under this law, “innocent third-parties” – which includes babies and their caregivers acting on their behalf – can sue drug distributors and manufacturers for damages.

When You Care For a Child With NAS – Do You Have the Right to Legal Compensation?

Hughes & Coleman® is currently accepting claims filed by family and caregivers on behalf of babies and children affected by NAS from the opioid crisis in Tennessee. These lawsuits are being filed on behalf of babies in Tennessee against drug companies for pushing doctors to overprescribe opioids, thereby over-supplying opioids to the community. The time has come for the large pharmaceutical companies to be held accountable for their deplorable actions.

We understand how emotionally and financially difficult it can be to care for a baby with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. If you are a caregiver of a child born with NAS, we can help you take action against the opioid distributors and manufacturers.

Children who suffer from NAS will have valid claims to pursue until they turn 19 years old. You need to take decisive action as soon as you can.

Hughes & Coleman® can help mothers, or the custodians – grandparents, aunts, foster parents, and other caregivers – file a case on behalf of babies suffering from the effects of NAS.

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Take Action For the Child in Your Care – Schedule a Free Case Consultation Today

Hughes & Coleman has worked in many cases involving child sex abuse in the past. We have helped our clients win against the organizations that failed them and are liable for the abuse–and we can help you too.

If you’re the caregiver of a baby affected by NAS in Tennessee, we can help you file a legal case to seek the compensation you deserve. You and your family deserve to be compensated so you can provide the best possible care for the opioid-injured baby in your care.

Contact us right now to schedule your free case consultation. Call 800-800-4600 or submit your contact information in the form here on our website and we will contact you.

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