Clinical update: naloxone in neonates

Yellow kit bag

Following a recent incident here at EEAST, it’s been identified that the Clinical Practice Guidelines are not entirely clear around the use of naloxone in neonates.

Naloxone is contraindicated in neonatal patients with poor cardiac and respiratory output, who are born to chronic opioid users. By this, we mean mothers who are, and have been during pregnancy, reliant on opioids. It is contraindicated because administering naloxone to these neonatal patients produces a very serious and potentially life-threatening withdrawal effect. Instead, emphasis should be on bag-valve-mask ventilation and oxygenation.

However, naloxone can be administered in a single dose to neonates whose mothers have been given analgesia for and during labour only, where the baby is displaying signs of respiratory or central nervous system (CNS) depression.

Please take the time to read the full clinical update released yesterday (31st May), which you can download internally from the clinical update library on East24. A copy of the bulletin has also been emailed to all colleagues.

If you have any questions or concerns please remember you can always contact the Clinical Advice Line on 07753 950843, or speak to your relevant area clinical lead.

Published 1st June, 2016

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