- Associated Press - Friday, September 12, 2014

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A health care group is taking action against the rising number of Kentucky newborns exposed to narcotics during pregnancy.

The Kentucky Perinatal Association says it will collect information from partnering hospitals and spread information about best practices in combating neonatal abstinence syndrome. The group says the goal is to create standardized treatments to improve outcomes for mothers and babies.

The group is working with the Kentucky Department for Public Health and the March of Dimes on the effort.

Dr. Eric Reynolds, a neonatologist at Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville, says it’s time to treat neonatal abstinence syndrome like the true national public health emergency that it is.

In 2002, fewer than 30 infants were diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome in Kentucky. In 2013, that number had grown to more than 950.

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