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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 153-157

Complications due to breastfeeding associated hypernatremic dehydration

Department of Pediatrics and Neonatology, SKIMS, Soura, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Asif Ahmed
Department of Pediatrics and Neonatology, SKIMS, Soura, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2249-4847.140402

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Objective: The aim was to assess the incidence, presenting features, and complications of breastfeeding associated hypernatremic dehydration among hospitalized neonates. Materials and Methods: A retrospective study over a period of 18 months to identify term and near term (≥35 weeks of gestation) breastfed neonates, who were admitted with serum sodium concentration of ≥150 mEq/l and no apparent explanation for their hypernatremia other than inadequate breastmilk intake. Results: The incidence of breastfeeding associated hypernatremic dehydration among 2100 term and near term neonates was 1.38%. The median serum sodium at presentation was 164 mEq/l (range: 151-191 mEq/l). The mean weight loss in these patients was 10.16% ±6.6%. The reasons for seeking medical attention were refusal of feeds (72.41%), lethargy (68.96%), decreased urine output (44.82%), jaundice (27.58%) and fever (24.13%). Five patients (17.24%) had seizures and three (10.34%) had coagulopathy. Other complications included hypoglycemia, hypocalcemia, acute kidney injury (AKI) (37.93%) and intraventricular hemorrhage. The mean serum creatinine was 1.82 ± 2.5 mg/dl (range: 0.19-9.6). A statistically significant association was seen between serum sodium concentration at presentation and AKI. It was also found that those patients who had AKI had a higher weight loss and had presented later to the hospital than those without AKI. One patient died within 12 h of admission. This child had disseminated intravascular coagulopathy, AKI, and hypoglycemia. Conclusions: Breastfeeding associated hypernatremic dehydration is a serious condition with many serious complications and even results in death if detected late. Health care providers have increasing responsibilities of promoting proper breastfeeding techniques and taking measures for early diagnosis and treatment of this problem.

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