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Glucose Gel in Infants at Risk for Transitional Neonatal Hypoglycemia

Kartikeya Makker, Rana Alissa, Christopher Dudek, Laura Travers, Carmen Smotherman, Mark L Hudak
American Journal of Perinatology 2018, 35 (11): 1050-1056

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate whether glucose gel as a supplement to feedings in infants admitted to the newborn nursery at risk for neonatal hypoglycemia (NH) reduces the frequency of transfer to a higher level of care for intravenous dextrose treatment.

STUDY DESIGN: We revised our newborn nursery protocol for management of infants at risk for NH to include use of 40% glucose gel (200 mg/kg). Study population included late preterm, small and large for gestational age infants, and infants of diabetic mothers. We compared outcomes before (4/1/14-3/31/15: Year 1) and after (4/1/15-3/31/16: Year 2) initiation of the revised protocol. Our prospective primary outcome was transfer to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for treatment with a continuous infusion of dextrose.

RESULTS: NICU transfer for management of NH fell from 8.1% in Year 1 (34 of 421 at-risk infants screened) to 3.7% in Year 2 (14 of 383 at-risk infants screened). Rate of exclusive breastfeeding increased from 6% in Year 1 to 19% in Year 2. Hospital charges for the study population decreased from 801,276 USD to 387,688 USD in Year 1 and Year 2, respectively.

CONCLUSION: Our study supports the adjunctive use of glucose gel to reduce NICU admissions and total hospitalization expense.

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