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Drug Screening in Prenatal Care Demands Objective Medical Criteria, Support Services

Andrew Skolnick
JAMA. 1990;264(3):309-310. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450030023004.
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A STUDY by researchers at the Medical Center of Delaware, Inc, Newark, suggests that including urine drug screening with routine prenatal care may improve pregnancy outcomes among populations at high risk of drug abuse. But they say this is true only if adequate drug counseling and other supportive services are also available.

The study, by Garrett H. C. Colmorgen, MD, director of maternal-fetal medicine at the center; Cherie Johnson, MD, a fourth-year resident; and their colleagues, involved women who received prenatal care through the Outpatient Services Department of Wilmington Hospital in Newark. It was reported in San Francisco during the annual meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

"In an effort to identify high-risk patients, Wilmington Hospital implemented universal urine drug screening for all pregnant women receiving prenatal care," Johnson told the conference attendees. "Patients whose urine tested positive for illicit drugs were offered special services to reduce


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