Waikato Medical Research Foundation
Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar level) is the only common preventable cause of brain damage in babies. It is most common in the first twenty four hours after birth and is a frequent reason for admission to the newborn intensive care unit. Admission to the Newborn Intensive Care Unit separates mother and baby, and can interrupt the establishment of breast feeding.
Oral carbohydrate (Sugar) is the first line of treatment for hypoglycemia in older diabetic patients, but there is no widely available and effective oral treatment for newborn babies, Waikato Hospital is the only hospital in Australasia to use oral 40% dextrose gel for treatment of hypoglycemia in babies. However, there is no reliable evidence to support this treatment.