Neonatal Drug Testing

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) is caused when a baby is exposed to drugs during the course of pregnancy. It can present itself at birth in a variety of different ways, including, but not limited to: tremors, seizures, twitching, tight muscle tone, excessive crying, poor feeding, rapid breathing, etc. NMS Labs provides the most wide-ranging umbilical cord test for drugs of abuse:

Advantages of NMS Labs’ Umbilical Cord Drug Testing:

  • Critical to managing health of a fetus suspected of suffering from NAS — Determining if a fetus was exposed to drugs in utero and which specific substances is important to ensure the baby receives safe and appropriate treatment
  • More readily available than meconium — Meconium testing can be unreliable as it may take days to pass or may even pass in utero, rendering collection impossible. Multiple collections over time may be needed to have an adequate sample.
  • Easy to collect — Using specimen collection kits, it takes just a couple of minutes to collect, prepare and send off a sample for testing.
  • Fast turnaround — Set-up days are Monday through Friday, and turnaround for negative screens is 24 hours; positive screens will automatically be tested for confirmation, producing results within 72 hours.
  • Most comprehensive screen available — NMS Labs offers a qualitative forensic screen and confirmation that can test for up to 57 compounds across 13+ classes of drugs in an accurate, scientific manner, including:
Drug Class Comprehensive Drug Screen, Umbilical Cord Tissue (9145C) Expanded Drug Screen Umbilical Cord Tissue (9353UC) Basic Drug Screen Umbilical Cord Tissue (9351UC)
Muscle Relaxants    
Bath Salts    
Total # of Analytes 57 31 13

Value of Ordering a Comprehensive Drug Screen, Umbilical Cord Tissue

Case Study: Mother gave birth to a baby girl who showed symptoms of neonatal drug withdrawal


  • Mother had a previous history of abusing carisoprodol
  • Mother denied drug use and referred back to her urine screening throughout her pregnancy, which was negative


  • Comprehensive screen was conducted with the baby - Identified carisoprodol via identification of its metabolite, meprobamate
  • Mother, on the same screen, was negative


  • Child protective services intervened and placed the child in the care of other family members. The next day the mother was found semi-unresponsive in the hospital lobby and said she had taken carisoprodol

Value of NMS Labs Neonatal Umbilical Cord Tissue Drug Screens

  • Largest scope available
    • Inclusion of Fentanyl and three Novel Psychoactive substances
    • Carisoprodol & Meprobamate, and Dextromethorphan
  • Improved Screening Specificity – LC-MS/MS Screen (Not ELISA)
  • EDI Interface
    • Provides immediate diagnostic insight
    • Increases efficiency and reduces error
  • Meets client turnaround requirements of 24 and 72 hours