The nurse is caring for a patient that has been addicted to drugs for several years. The patient has just delivered an infant 48 hours ago. Which of the following assessment findings can the nurse expect in the infant?


• Drug-addicted newborns usually experience drug withdrawal symptoms beginning 24–48 hours after birth (but it may take up to a week for symptoms to appear). This includes low birth weight, nervousness, irritability, seizures, poor feeding, piercing cry, and respiratory distress.

• Illicit drugs tend to be of small molecular weight, so they cross the placenta readily. As a result, the fetus of an addicted mother has a drug concentration of about 50% that of the mother.

• Other choices are incorrect: infants of drug-addicted mothers usually appear lethargic and irritable.

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