Taking care of babies is a huge responsibility, especially when it comes to new parents. You have to look after their diet, lifestyle, and what kind of things they are exposed to. The majority of the time, a parent is always alert and keeps an eye on the infant. But on some occasions, your newborn baby may get exposed to something harmful unintentionally. This is a red sign and this is what we want to talk about today.
According to recent studies, if your baby is exposed to fentanyl, it can lead to a syndrome. What is fentanyl and what is this new syndrome which is possibly found? Keep reading to find out.
What is fentanyl?- Learn The Negative Implications
Fentanyl is a type of potent drug (a synthetic opioid) that is just like morphine. It has the ability to produce analgesia but the extent is bigger. This drug has also been recognized as the strongest painkiller and is up to 50 times stronger as compared to heroin. So, it is safe to think that it is not a good sign if your kid is exposed to something like this.
What is the latest update about fentanyl linked to newborn babies? – Explained in Detail!
According to the traces found, if fentanyl is consumed during pregnancy, this can lead to severe birth defects. The study was conducted and over 12 babies were found to be born with a new syndrome if they were exposed to this drug in the womb.
There is no common defect to point out but everyone has a physical defect. It ranges from unusually small heads to cleft palates. There was no genetic cause to be discovered which showed commonality. But the one thing that was clear is that all those kids were born to women who used this street drug – fentanyl during the time of their pregnancy.
Elizabeth Cherot, the March of Dimes president called out this pattern and said that it was concerning. She also added that these characteristics are similar and may direct towards a new syndrome.
There were six babies in Wilmington’s Nemours Children’s Health and two in California. One was from Rhode Island and another was from Massachusetts. All these kids showed the traits.
But this is not the first time that the infants’ birth defects are linked to fentanyl. In August 2022, Erin Wadman (a general counselor from Nemours) was asked to come and see the case of a newborn. The baby was born with birth defects.
This is what Erin Wadman had to say,
She was sitting for the appointment and saw that the face of the baby was familiar. Not only that but the story was also heard before. She started thinking about how much the kid reminded her of a patient she saw earlier in that same year. Not only that but she had seen other patients like that as well. So, this is when she thought that there was something big and different going on there.
The babies born with birth defects did not only have cleft palate but other signs as well. 10 of the kids had unusually small heads and bodies. Some of them had droopy eyelids while others had their noses turned upward. Some kids had low and undersized jaws. When looked at closely, the kids’ feet were inward and down. Their middle toes were webbed. Some of the male babies had genital irregularities.
Some kids couldn’t be fed due to trouble feeding and in some kids, the thumbs were not formed completely. Looking at these similar birth defects, Wadman and a colleague named Dr. Karen Gripp remembered Smith-Lemli-Opitz, a syndrome. In that case, the genetic variant affects the way a fetus processes cholesterol. This is important for overall brain development and normal cell functioning.
However, when studied closely, these newborns did not have Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome or its variant. It was suspected that they were exposed to fentanyl and this is what led to the disruption of cholesterol processing.
So, if you are pregnant or planning the same, make sure that you do not expose the child inside you to severe drugs. This can lead to a lot of problems that you might not have thought of.