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Parents arrested after 2-month-old had fractured skull, meth in system

A Tennessee mother and father were indicted last Wednesday after their two-month-old daughter purportedly sustained multiple skull fractures, a brain bleed, and multiple broken bones in addition to testing positive for methamphetamine.

WRCB reported that the Bradley County Grand Jury issued indictments against Nicholas O’Donnell and Brittany Newman of Cleveland, Tennessee, for aggravated child abuse or neglect.

The Department of Children Services (DCS) and the Cleveland Police Department’s (CPD) Special Investigations Unit intervened on January 4 for a welfare check and noticed a large bruise on the child’s head.

The baby was taken to the hospital where an exam determined she had suffered a slew of serious injuries, including a brain bleed which required surgery. The girl’s current condition is unknown.

The investigation also determined O’Donnell, Newman, and the baby tested positive for meth. CPD Sergeant Evie West told the station that the parents smoked the drug in the same room as their daughter.

Exposure to meth can have serious long-term effects on children, including an increased risk for anxiety, depression, and anxiety and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a March 2013 study conducted by the University of Tulsa.

Drugs.com points out that “Methamphetamine and its metabolite, amphetamine, are detectable in breastmilk and infant’s serum after abuse of methamphetamine by nursing mothers.”

More specifically, a study published in the April 2009 issue of the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology recommended that mothers shouldn’t breastfeed their babies for at least 48 hours following recreational meth use.

It’s unknown whether the 2-month-old was born with meth in her system or by what means it got there during the recent exam.

The couple is currently jailed at Bradley County Justice Center on a $75,000 bond each.