Hypoglycemia (low blood glucose level) at birth can lead to brain injury and intellectual development disabilities. Therefore when a child is born with a low level of sugar in his blood, he or her is immediately treated to maintain the blood sugar level above a certain threshold. Treatment usually consists of additional feeding and or oral intravenous glucose. A new study involving more than 404 newborns shows that not only maintaining a level of sugar above a certain threshold but also keeping it from swinging too high too fast is essential to prevent neurosensory impairments.
During the first 48 hours of their life, all 404 infants were fitted with a device that would read the blood sugar level every 5 minutes. 53% of the infants participating in the study had blood sugar levels below 47 milligrams per deciliters and needed treatment. The rest of them didn’t require treatment.
The blood sugar monitoring device showed that during the first 48 hours of life many infants including those who didn’t need treatment, experience low blood sugar episodes.