Dr. Allen Cherer is an experienced neonatologist from Charlotte, North Carolina. Throughout his over 30-year career, Dr. Cherer has prided himself on providing quality, compassionate care to his newborn patients and their families. Dr. Cherer’s tenure, though longstanding, has reflected a continuous drive to remain up-to-date and in tune with modern neonatology trends (as well as those pertaining to healthcare as a collective whole).
Given neonatology’s status as a broad and ever-changing branch of healthcare, Dr. Allen Cherer has experienced his fair share of challenges over the years. Still, Dr. Cherer prepared himself for an unpredictable field, first earning his B.A. in Biology from the University of Virginia and, later, his M.D. from the Medical College of Georgia. From here, Dr. Allen Cherer was trained in Pediatrics at the University of Louisville’s Kosair Children’s Hospital. He was subsequently commissioned in the United States Air Force Medical Corps, where he was appointed Chief of Pediatrics at the USAF Regional Hospital Minot (North Dakota).
Dr. Allen Cherer later proceeded to a fellowship in neonatal-perinatal medicine in the Joint Program in Neonatology at Harvard Medical School. Here, Dr. Cherer’s research covered the causes and sequelae of intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) in preterm infants. His work eventually culminated in a published manuscript proposing a comprehensive management protocol for IVH.
Today, Dr. Allen Cherer maintains an exceptional level of industry knowledge and attention to detail, bringing upper level service to his patients and establishing himself as a leading voice in his field. He has served in Level III Newborn Intensive Care nurseries across multiple states in the US, providing care to thousands of infants and their families.
Visit Dr. Cherer’s neonatology Medium blog for his insights on a variety of industry topics, including neonatal conditions, prevailing forms of treatment, and pieces of advice for new parents.
Dr. Allen Cherer shares his expertise on neonatal hypoglycemia
Hypoglycemia generally refers to exceptionally low blood sugar, and as blood sugar is a direct source of bodily energy, this naturally means the condition can result in fatigue, irritability, and a general sense of malaise (among a variety of other symptoms). Typically, the condition can be better addressed once it is identified, a process that, in many cases, is half the battle en route to treatment.
However, in a neonatal sense, hypoglycemia can be dire if not addressed promptly, as it can result in brain damage during key stages of bodily development. That said, when the condition is caught and treated early enough, full recovery is increasingly possible. Here is a quick overview of the condition to aid in its identification and subsequent treatment.
What are the symptoms of neonatal hypoglycemia?
Neonatal hypoglycemia can take on a variety of forms. These symptoms may include, but are certainly not limited to:
- A blue tint to the newborn’s skin or lips.
- Noticeable shakiness.
- General issues with feeding.
- Hindered breathing (including long stops in breathing, or apnea).
- Poor or reduced muscle tone.
- Lower body temperature.
- A lack of movement or energy, general lethargy.
Should you observe any of these symptoms in your newborn, contact your doctor immediately; they could indicate hypoglycemia or a plethora of other potentially harmful conditions and should be addressed as soon as possible.
What are the causes of neonatal hypoglycemia?
There is a long list of potential causes for neonatal hypoglycemia, and it is currently unclear which ones are worthy of the lion’s share of blame. Still, medical professionals have identified the following conditions as potential contributing variables.
- Liver disease.
- A lack of oxygen during birth (also referred to as birth asphyxia).
- An excess of insulin in the newborn’s stool.
- Poor nutrition of the mother during pregnancy.
- Congenital metabolic deficiencies.
- Preterm birth and resulting growth concerns.
- Hormonal imbalances.
- Other birth defects.
Additionally, newborns may be at higher risk if they are born to mothers with diabetes, are born under significant stress, are smaller or larger than usual for their gestational age, or are born to mothers treated with certain medications such as terbutaline.
How is neonatal hypoglycemia treated?
Neonatal hypoglycemia treatment will hinge primarily on the newborn’s age and general health, but in most cases it boils down to giving the newborn a fast acting dose of glucose to help regulate blood sugar. This process can be completed several ways, depending on the severity of the condition; it can be administered in formula during routine feedings or given via IV. Either way, glucose levels are monitored before and after treatment to determine if further intervention may be needed.
Again, if you feel that your newborn has or is prone to neonatal hypoglycemia, do not rest on your laurels in contacting medical personnel. Timing of awareness and treatment will be instrumental in minimizing potentially serious symptoms that may damage or hinder your newborn’s development.