This seminal article has shaped the management of neonatal hypoglycemia. This study out of New Zealand recommends treatment with dextrose gel be considered the first-line treatment to manage hypoglycemia in late preterm and term babies in the first 48 hours after birth. The authors concluded dextrose gel is inexpensive, simple to administer and can successfully reverse newborn hypoglycemia.
Neonatal hypoglycemia, defined as a plasma glucose level of less than 30 mg/dL (1.65 mmol/L) in the first 24 hours of life and less than 45 mg/dL (2.5 mmol/L) thereafter, is the most common metabolic problem in newborns. Major long-term sequelae include neurologic damage resulting in mental retardation, recurrent seizure activity, developmental delay, and personality disorders. Some evidence suggests that severe hypoglycemia may impair cardiovascular function.