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Preventing neonatal hypoglycaemia with oral dextrose gel

67 months
Approved budget:
Professor Jane Harding
Health issue:
Obstetric complications/perinatal care
Proposal type:
Lay summary
Hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) is the commonest metabolic condition of the newborn. It affects up to 15% of babies, and the incidence is increasing as risk factors such as maternal diabetes and preterm birth are becoming more common. Neonatal hypoglycaemia frequently leads to neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admission and may cause long-term brain damage. There currently are no evidence-based strategies to prevent hypoglycaemia and its adverse consequences. We have shown that oral dextrose gel is effective in reversing hypoglycaemia, halving NICU admission rates and improving rates of breast-feeding. We now propose a randomised trial investigating the effectiveness of dextrose gel for prevention of hypoglycaemia and its consequences.We will determine whether dextrose gel prevents this common newborn condition and assess its cost effectiveness. Such an intervention could prevent brain damage, improve breast-feeding rates, improve long-term health and save money, potentially revolutionising the management of neonatal hypoglycaemia around the world.