(HealthDay News) – Dextrose gel may be used to manage hypoglycemia in late preterm and term babies in the first 48 hours following birth, according to research published online Sept. 25 in The Lancet.

Deborah L. Harris, PhD, of the University of Auckland in New Zealand, and colleagues analyzed data from 237 babies, aged 35–42 weeks of gestation and within 48 hours of birth, who became hypoglycemic and were randomly assigned to either dextrose gel (118 infants) or placebo gel (119 infants). Treatment failure was defined as blood glucose concentration <2.6mmol/L following two treatment attempts.

The researchers found that infants receiving dextrose gel were significantly less likely to fail treatment than those receiving placebo gel (14% vs. 24%; relative risk, 0.57). No serious adverse events were observed.

“Use of buccal dextrose, even as an emergency stopgap, has fallen into disuse,” writes the author of an accompanying editorial. “We now have high-quality evidence that it is of value and should be part of the response to triggering of treatment.”

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