300 babies with drug symptoms born in Dublin since 1993


More than 300 babies born with drug addiction symptoms have been treated in Dublin's maternity hospitals in the past five years.

According to statistics released by the Minister for Health, Mr Cowen, 166 babies have been treated in the Coombe Hospital since 1993, while figures for the National Maternity Hospital in Holles Street indicate that it treats about 10 drug-addicted babies annually. The Rotunda hospital treated 43 drug-addicted babies last year and expects the figures for 1997 to be about the same.

Mr Cowen, in reply to a written question from Mr Alan Shatter (FG, Dublin South) said that most drug-addicted babies were born in Dublin, but that not all such babies required special care in a neo-natal intensive care unit. Babies who needed care usually spent six to eight weeks in the unit until the effects of the drugs were gone.