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Woman charged after giving birth to baby allegedly addicted to opiates

Lydia Anna Hernandez | Bannock County Jail
POCATELLO — A woman who gave birth to a baby suffering from what hospital records called “significant withdrawal symptoms” has been charged with a felony.
Lydia Anna Hernandez, 33, faces a charge of injury to a child, according to court records.
Pocatello police were informed by a case worker with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare in April that a newborn child had tested positive for morphine and methamphetamine, according to an affidavit of probable cause. Officers later learned that the baby had been suffering from “significant withdrawal symptoms and (was) not eating very well” and had been placed in the neonatal intensive care unit.
The case worker had been monitoring the baby and Hernandez since a family member alerted the IDHW that they believed Hernandez had been using drugs during her pregnancy.
An officer spoke with Hernandez over the phone. When asked about the baby testing positive for drugs, she reportedly said the baby may have tested positive for morphine due to her use of Suboxin — a drug used to combat drug dependency. She added that she did not know why the baby would have meth in its system.
Hernandez then said she wanted to speak to an attorney before answering any other questions, court documents say.
Officers obtained a search warrant to seize medical records from Portneuf Medical Center where the baby was born.
Records showed that despite the baby’s blood testing positive for opiates and amphetamines, Hernandez’s blood tested clean.
Police continued receiving medical records for months, including a 440-page document that was provided to officers in May.
The word “withdrawal” appears in those documents 206 times, according to the affidavit.
Among those mentions, the documents say that the infant “had ongoing withdrawal symptoms” and was being monitored.
During a neurological assessment, care providers noted that the infant was “hypertonic, jittery, fussy but consolable, (and) continues to have active symptoms of opiate withdrawal.”
With the baby “unable to tolerate” feedings, hospital staff began using opiate micro-doses to combat withdrawal symptoms for nearly three weeks. The baby was discharged in May.
Following an investigation, Hernandez was arrested on Aug. 8, and custody of the baby was given to a family member by Child Protective Services.
Hernandez is currently being held at Bannock County Jail on a $10,000 bond.
Though Hernandez has been charged with this crime, it does not necessarily mean she committed it. Everyone is presumed innocent until they are proven guilty.
If she is found guilty, Hernandez could face up to 10 years in prison and $50,000 in fines.
She is scheduled to appear in court before Magistrate Judge Carol Tippi Jarman for a preliminary hearing on Aug. 29.
The post Woman charged after giving birth to baby allegedly addicted to opiates appeared first on East Idaho News.

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