Hospital-administered opioids are necessary to help critically ill infants tolerate life-saving interventions or recover from surgery. If a baby’s pain is not sufficiently controlled, they may have future developmental disabilities. However, prolonged opioid exposures can also hinder an infant’s brain development.

The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) has awarded more than $3 million to Keck Medicine of USC physicians at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to study the long-term impact of opioids on infants. Principal investigator and pediatric surgeon Lorraine Kelley-Quon, MD, of Keck Medicine and the Keck School of Medicine of USC, will lead the study in collaboration with other CHLA investigators.

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