Neonatal Hypoglycemia

Neonatal Hypoglycemia | Birth Injury Video Library

Neonatal hypoglycemia is one of the most common problems encountered by nursery staff after a baby is born. Simply put, neonatal hypoglycemia occurs when a baby’s blood sugar is lower than normal. Through this video, learn more about neonatal hypoglycemia and why it’s so important for health care providers to manage properly.


Neonatal hypoglycemia is one of the most common problems encountered by staff in the nursery after a child is born. It simply means that the baby’s sugar is lower than what it should be. Now, generally, that is defined as something less than thirty milligrams per deciliter within the first 24 hours of life, or forty-five milligrams per deciliter thereafter. If the problem is not detected and treated quickly, it can have long-term consequences for that child. There is a group of newborns that clinicians know will have problems metabolizing sugar. Specifically, children who are born of mothers with gestational diabetes. They have had a great deal of blood sugar coursing through their veins because the mother was producing that excess sugar while they were in utero.  When that baby is born, suddenly that supply of excess blood sugar is cut off. But yet the baby was producing a lot of insulin to compensate and metabolize that blood sugar. Once that baby is born, it takes a while for the baby’s system to realize Hey, we’re not getting all that blood sugar anymore and we don’t need all of that insulin to be produced. As a consequence, when that baby is born, it can have a dangerously low blood sugar level, and it needs to be corrected promptly, either with intravenous therapy or with a feeding. It is important for those children to be monitored closely once they’ve had an abnormal level because that’s an indication to the clinicians that the baby isn’t regulating very well yet. So, it is extremely important that the health care providers monitor the blood sugar level of the newborn.

If you have questions about whether or not you and your child received substandard care, call us.

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