Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
 

Hypocalcemia

High-Risk Newborns - Hypocalcemia

What is hypocalcemia?

Hypocalcemia is a condition in which there is too little calcium in the blood. A common form of hypocalcemia in babies is called neonatal hypocalcemia. This condition may occur at different times with different causes, including the following:

What causes hypocalcemia?

The causes of early hypocalcemia are unknown, while late hypocalcemia has a number of known causes, related primarily to calcium and phosphorus levels in the body as well as parathyroid hormone function.

Hypocalcemia is more common in premature and low birthweight babies, because their parathyroid glands are less mature. It can also occur in babies who have a difficult birth and in babies of diabetic mothers.

What are the symptoms of hypocalcemia?

Symptoms of hypocalcemia may not be obvious in newborn babies. The following are the most common symptoms of hypocalcemia. However, each baby may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

The symptoms of hypocalcemia may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your baby's physician for a diagnosis.

How is hypocalcemia diagnosed?

In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnosis of hypocalcemia is made by testing the blood for the amount of calcium.

Treatment for hypocalcemia:

Hypocalcemia may get better without treatment in some cases, especially if there are no symptoms. However, specific treatment for hypocalcemia will be determined by your baby's physician based on:

Treatment may include:

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