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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 77-81

Prevalence and outcome of hypoglycemia in children attending emergency pediatric unit of a specialist hospital in Nigeria

1 Department of Paediatrics, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria
2 Department of Paediatrics, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria
3 Department of Medicine, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria
4 Department of Paediatrics, Ahmad Sani Yariman Bakura Specialist Hospital, Gusau, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Abdullahi Musa
Department of Paediatrics, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Kaduna State
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DOI: 10.4103/smj.smj_12_18

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Background: Hypoglycemia is a common metabolic problem encountered in pediatric emergency admissions. The absence of clinical symptoms does not preclude the presence of hypoglycemia as presentation may vary from asymptomatic to central nervous system and cardiopulmonary disturbances. If untreated, hypoglycemia can result in permanent neurological damage or even death. Objectives: The objective of the study is to determine the prevalence, associated factors and outcome of hypoglycemia in pediatric emergency admissions at Ahmad Sani Yariman Bakura Specialist Hospital, Gusau, Nigeria. Materials and Methods: The study was a prospective cross-sectional study involving children aged 1 month–13 years. Blood glucose was determined at admission using Accu-Chek® Active Blood Glucose Meter, and hypoglycemia was defined as blood glucose levels <2.8 mmol/L (<50 mg/dL). Age of the patients, sex, interval of last meal, presenting complaints diagnoses were recorded. Results: A total of 154 children were studied. Thirty (19.5%) were infants and 71 (46.1%) were under-fives. Eighty-seven (56.5%) were males with male to female ratio of 1.3:1. The prevalence of hypoglycemia was 22.1%. The predominant disease conditions the children with hypoglycemia presented with were severe malaria, acute diarrheal disease, and sepsis. The prevalence of hypoglycemia was significantly higher among children whose last meal was 8 h and above before presentation (42.9%). Children who presented with hypoglycemia were significantly more likely to die (odds ratio [OR] =13.3; 95% confidence interval [CI] =4.6–38.7). Among those with hypoglycemia, males were significantly more likely to die (OR = 4.2, 95% CI = 1.0–18.0). Hypoglycemia was significantly associated with mortality in children with severe malaria and pneumonia (P = 0.04 and 0.01, respectively). Conclusion: The prevalence of hypoglycemia is still high in our emergency admissions. It is associated with significant mortality especially among male children and those presenting with severe malaria and pneumonia. We recommend that hypoglycemia sought for and promptly treated in children presenting to emergency to reduce mortality.

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