is director, Level II nursery at St. Luke’s Hospital. The nursery at St. Luke’s Hospital is an eight-bed facility designed to meet the needs of the convalescing newborn in the community. In addition to caring for preterm infants delivered at 32 weeks gestation or greater, the nursery accepts transferred infants from tertiary care facilities in Providence and Boston who require prolonged hospitalization. A significant portion of our full-term patients are hospitalized in order to wean off maternal addictive medications such as methadone.
Opiate addiction is a serious issue in New Bedford. Approximately 10% of the admissions to the Level II nursery last year were for the treatment of neonatal abstinence syndrome. Dr. Coyle’s area of research involves understanding the optimal treatment strategy for newborns addicted to opiates. The St. Luke’s nursery, in collaboration with Women & Infants Hospital, was one of eight sites selected to participate in the MOTHER trial, a multi-centered international study whose major goal was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of buprenorphine and methadone in pregnant opioid-dependent women and their neonates. While infants continue to be followed for long-term outcomes, results from the primary investigation have been accepted for publication in the New England Journal of Medicine.