Diva D. De León-Crutchlow, MD, MSCE and Eric Gibson, MD
Transient neonatal hypoglycemia is a common phenomenon in the 48 hours after birth in healthy term infants, but how do we appropriately identify and treat those infants with severe and prolonged hypoglycemia?
The dependence of the fetus on a constant supply of maternal glucose necessitates significant changes in regulation of glucose metabolism at birth following the abrupt interruption of umbilical glucose delivery. Low glucose levels are thus common in neonates in the first 48 hours following birth. It is, however, difficult to distinguish between newborns who have persistent, pathologic hypoglycemia and those with self-limited transitional hypoglycemia that may be benign. Furthermore, there is a lack of a specific blood glucose values that define hypoglycemia in a neonate. Therefore, careful screening guidelines to identify neonates at increased risk of hypoglycemia that require glucose screening are crucial in order to prevent postnatal complications and morbidities.