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Neonatal Hypoglycemia What Parents Need to Know

Glucose is a major source for Energy of for fetus and neonates
Upto 90& Gluco se will consume by the brain

Introduction of Hypoglycemia in Newborns

What is hypoglycemia?

Hypo means Low,

Glycemia is the Blood Glucose level

  • Lower blood glucose levels are common in Newborns,
  • It occurs when the Newborn’s Blood Glucose Level is
    Less than 45 mg /dl is called Neonatal hypoglycemia

It can happen Number of reasons,
That Includes delayed feeding,
premature baby, Meternal diabetes,

Symptoms of Neonatal Hypoglycemia

  • Sweating,
  • Feeding difficulties,
  • Tremors,
  • Resufe feeds
  • Lethargy
  • Restlessness
  • Convulsion
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Irritability

Causes for Newborn  hypoglycemia:

  • Low birth weight infants.
  • Infants of diabetic mothers
  • Pre-maturity
  • Post maturity
  • Respiratory distress.
  • Perinatal asphyxia (lack of oxygen at birth)
  • Birth defects of the pancreas or liver
  • Perinatal asphyxia (lack of oxygen at birth)

Risk factors 

Clinical Manifestation

  • Resufe feeds
  • Lethargy
  • Restlessness
  • Convulsion
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Irritability

Diagnosis for Neonatal hypoglycemia

RBS – Blood glucose test

Treatment for Neonatal Hypoglycemia:

The treatment for newborn hypoglycemia depends on the severity of the condition.

Mild cases may be treated with oral glucose or dextrose water.

More severe cases may require intravenous glucose or other medications.

Medical management:

  • Early breastfeeding
  • 5-10% dextrose IV
  • Warm Environment
  • Glucagon epinephrine.

The nursing assessment

Assessing the newborn’s history,

 Physical examination and blood sugar level,

The nurse can quickly identify newborns that are at risk for hypoglycemia

 Begin treatment promptly.

Here are some of the specific nursing assessments that should be performed on a newborn with hypoglycemia

History Collection:

 The nurse should ask about the mother’s pregnancy and delivery, as well as the newborn’s feeding history.

The nurse should also ask about any risk factors for hypoglycemia, such as prematurity,

Low birth weight

Maternal diabetes.

Physical examination:

The nurse should assess the newborn’s vital signs, neurological status, and skin color.

The nurse should also look for signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia, such as jitteriness, lethargy, and seizures.

Blood sugar level:

The nurse should check the newborn’s blood sugar level.

This can be done with a heel prick or a blood draw.

 The normal blood sugar level for a newborn is 70 to 150 mg/dL.

A blood sugar level of 45 mg/dL or lower was called hypoglycemia.

Based on the findings of the nursing assessment,

 The nurse will develop a plan of care for the newborn.

The Newborn care will include treatment for hypoglycemia,

as well as monitoring the newborn’s blood sugar level.

The nurse will also educate the parents about hypoglycemia and how to prevent it.

Differential Diagnosis for Hypoglycemia

  • Heart failure,
  • Renal failure,
  • Liver failure,
  • Hypomagnesia,
  • Pyridoxine deficiency,
  • Sepsis,
  • hypocalcemia,
  • hyponatremia,
  • Adrenal insufficiency,
  • Toxic Exposures,
  • Metabolic abnormalities

Nursing Diagnosis for Hypoglycemia in Newborns

  • Risk for hypoglycemia, 
  • Impaired glucose control,
  • Ineffective breastfeeding,
  • Risk for injury,

Deficient knowledge (parents) related to hypoglycemia

The nursing care plan for a newborn with hypoglycemia will be individualized to the specific needs of the newborn.

However, some common nursing interventions may include:

\Administering a glucose infusion

Monitoring the newborn’s blood sugar level

Educating the parents about hypoglycemia

Providing emotional support to the parents

With prompt diagnosis and treatment, most newborns with hypoglycemia do well.

 However, severe hypoglycemia can lead to complications,

Such as seizures, brain damage, and even death. Therefore,

 it is important to identify and treat hypoglycemia early.

Nursing Management for Neonatal Hypoglycemia

  • Assess signs of Hypoglycemia
  • Monitor blood sugar in high-risk newborns.
  • Assess for convulsions
  • Administered IV fluids
  • Monitor intake and output records.
  • Encourage nutritive sucking.


  • Newborn hypoglycemia is a serious condition, but it is usually treatable.
  • If you are concerned that your baby may have hypoglycemia, talk to your doctor.
  • Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent serious complications.

Prevention of Hypoglycemia,

  • Breastfeeding within the first 30mins,
  • Frequent breastfeeding,
  • Supplementation with a formula for at-risk infants,
  • Prevent and treat hypothermia,
  • Provide newborn care,

Hypoglycemia complications

  • Developmental delay,
  • Seizures,
  • Brain damage,
  • Death.

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