European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 159, Issue 9, pp 679–683

Hospital stay and short-term follow-up of children of drug-abusing mothers born in an urban community hospital – a retrospective review

  • Antoine Payot
  • Michel Berner

DOI: 10.1007/PL00008406

Cite this article as:
Payot, A. & Berner, M. Eur J Pediatr (2000) 159: 679. doi:10.1007/PL00008406


In order to assess the current use of medical and social services of children of drug-abusing mothers in regard to their short term outcome in a Swiss urban community hospital, we compared hospital, private paediatricians and home nursing records of 37 of these children with 37 matched control children from birth to 18 months of age. Children of drug-abusing mothers (CDAM) experienced a longer neonatal hospital stay than control children with a median (25%–75%) of 26 days (10.5–52.5 days) versus 5 (5–6) days (P < 0.001), a substantial part of which, 8 days (3.5–26 days) versus 0 days (0–1 day) (P < 0.001) was not motivated by any specific medical treatment or nursing care. Before discharge, CDAM were referred to out of hospital nursing and social services for further management, but only 13% were effectively followed. More than 50% were lost to follow-up by their initial paediatrician after 1 year of life.

Conclusion New ways to ensure better co-ordination between paediatricians and the social services (inside and outside the hospital) should be developed to shorten the neonatal hospitalisation period and improve the quality of follow-up.

Key words Child of drug-abusing motherMedical follow-upSocial follow-upNeonatal hospitalisation

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antoine Payot
    • 1
  • Michel Berner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Paediatrics, Hôpital des Enfants, 6, rue Willy Donzé, 1211 Geneva 14, Switzerland e-mail: Tel.: +41-22-3824595; Fax: +41-22-3824675CH