Dehydration and Faulty Feeding in Severe Neonatal Hypernatremia

Suresh Maditheti, Mahendra Dobhal, Maneesha Pandurang Halkar, Ranjan Kumar Pejaver


Faulty feeding in neonates can lead to life-threatening hypernatremic dehydration.

An 11-day-old female neonate was presented with complaints of lethargy, feed refusal, low urine output, and significant weight loss. Evaluation revealed severe dehydration, serum Na+ level of 211 mEq/L, urine output < 0.5 mL/kg/h, hypertonia, abnormal neurologic signs, and significant weight loss (> 20% of birth weight), which was due to faulty feeding. The neonate was immediately managed with fluid resuscitation. Due importance was given to neurodevelopmental stimulation as well as training and counseling the mother regarding various aspects of breastfeeding.

Adequate breastfeeding and hydration should be ensured in exclusively breastfed infants.

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