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Neonatal News

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Following are links to recent neonatal news reports:

· WSAZ Huntington, W. Va.
Hospitals and treatment centers are overwhelmed as the medical, social and legal challenges regarding addicted moms and newborns spark problems and progress:

· USA Today reports in florida, the number of babies with withdrawl syndrome is up 26% from 2006.

· Babies born at a very low birth weight are more likely to have memory and attention problems when they become adults than babies born at a low to normal weight, according to a study published in the December 6, 2011, print issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology

gy • Maternal exposure to oxycodone during breastfeeding was associated with a 20.1% rate of infant CNS depression… 

Drug and alcohol abuse occurs in all segments of society. A recent survey from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported that among pregnant women, aged 15 to 44 years 4.4% used illicit drugs in the previous month, 10.8% reported alcohol use, and 4.7% admitted binge or heavy drinking. Substance abuse is a contributing factor to a variety of developmental and behavioral conditions. A substance abusing mother is more likely to neglect her newborn. 

Pregnancy may be the one time in a woman’s life when she would be open to treating important issues like drug and alcohol abuse. Addiction is a serious disease that can improve with treatment. Current identification methods rely on maternal self-report, use of a universal screening tool, or positive urine toxicology results. Maternal self-report may be limited by concerns about social stigma or possible legal implications. Screening tools require skill and training to develop effective interview techniques. Urine toxicology is not an effective tool in identifying alcohol abuse and has limited value with drugs. With the exception of marijuana, urine generally provides a 1-3 day window of exposure for illicit drug use. Therefore; the most effective antenatal drug or alcohol treatment program includes objective drug testing to monitor relapse.

Drug and alcohol toxicology test methods are a key component of any treatment program. USDTL offers customizable drug test panels in a variety of sample matrices, hair, nails, blood, urine, oral fluid, meconium, and umbilical cord sections. The laboratory provides a confirmed test result for a specific drug or metabolite. The unique test panels help identify a growing problem of polysubstance abuse.

Visit our website at for more information.


This Week at USDTL

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Our Clinical Projects Manager, Bob Demaree, will be in San Diego at the World Symposium of Perinatal Medicine. Stop by booth number 305 and learn more about our screening tests for alcohol and substances of abuse during the antenatal period.

If you can’t be there, Bob will also be in Washington D.C. this weekend Dec 4-6 for the Hot Topics in Neonatology meeting.

Visit our website: for information about all the services we provide.

At United States Drug Testing Laboratories we celebrate the foods and cultures of all our members.

Carving the turkey

Our party planners

Happy Thanksgiving!


A Busy Weekend

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This weekend, our President and Scientific Director, Douglas Lewis, Executive Vice President Veronica Lewis and Marketing Communications Manager, Nancy Parra attended the IPN/PRN meeting at the Ritz Carlton on Amelia Island, Florida. They connected with old friends and spoke about our latest alcohol biomarker tests and the science behind them.  The meeting went well with many local associations and treatment centers interested in our materials and tests. Their goal is to help their clients. Our tests give them objective answers to difficult questions.

At the same time, our Clinical Projects Manager, Bob Demaree exhibited at the Interventions in Neo Care conference in Las Vegas. Bob met with old friends and new and discussed our latest assay the CordStat® EtOH that tests for an alcohol biomarker in umbilical cord tissue. The presence of this biomarker can mean that the mother had risky alcohol behavior in the last weeks of her pregnancy.

If you met with us, and even if you didn’t, and have any questions please call us at 800-235-2367. We will be happy to help.


The Fetus & Newborn: State-of-the-Art Care

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Bob Demaree, Clinical Projects Manager at USDTL is at The Fetus & Newborn: State-of-the-Art Care conference in Las Vegas, NV this week. He welcomes every attendee to stop by and learn more about our newborn testing. More importantly our newest assay which can measure an alcohol biomarker in umbilical cord tissue.

Fetal alcohol exposure has been recognized as the leading cause of preventable mental retardation and birth defects. Each year in the United States approximately 40,000 alcohol exposed newborns are diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. This condition can result in a variety of physical, behavioral and learning disorders. A recent SAMHSA survey reviewing data collected in 2009-2010 reported that 4.7 percent of pregnant women admitted binge or heavy drinking. Early identification is a key factor to improving outcomes for this group. Currently, identification relies on maternal 
self-report or the presence of a set of unique physical characteristics. Self-report has limited value in determining alcohol exposure and the physical characteristics may not appear until later in child’s development.

A positive result from our CordStat EtOH is an indication of risky alcohol drinking behavior in the last two to four weeks of pregnancy.

To find out more call customer serivce at 800.235.2367.


Ask the President

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Q: How long do I have to dispute a result?

A: USDTL saves negative specimens for seven days after initial accessioning. Seven days is longer than the customary three days that most labs retain negatives. This duration should allow clients a reasonable time to decide if dispute resolution is needed, to contact customer service and initiate the process. Positive specimens are stored frozen for one year following accessioning. Our Client Services Representatives will provide you with the necessary paperwork for you to sign and return to initiate the re-test process. Once the paperwork is in order, Client Services will return a re-test result to you in one to two working days. If you have any questions after receiving the results, please contact Client Services and they will either assist you or direct you to one of our forensic toxicologists to discuss the case with you.


American Academy of Pediatrics new policy

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October 31st, 2011, The American Academy of Pediatrics sets a new policy telling doctors that screening for drug/alcohol use should be a routine part of a teen’s regular doctors visits – 

My question is, if adults lie to their healthcare providers about their alcohol and drug use, why wouldn’t teens? Why not recommend an unbiased-test based on a hair or nail sample. This would give pediatricians a solid factual history to help improve the health of their patients.

We offer a wide variety of hair and nail testing that can identify actual use or misuse and possibly save a life.

Check out our website: for more information.

USDTL Forensic Blog

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