Prevalence of hypoglycemia among children admitted at Kenyatta national hospital.
Introduction Hypoglycemia is a common metabolic derangement in childhood that if not treated promptly, has a high risk of causing brain damage and is an independent risk factor for death. Hypoglycemia also complicates common childhood illnesses. Children are most susceptible because of their developing brain and its dependence on glucose as its primary fuel. Study design This is a descriptive hospital-based cross- sectional study aimed at determining the prevalence of hypoglycemia in sick children admitted at Kenyatta National Hospital. Study Objectives The primary objective was to determine the prevalence of hypoglycemia in sick children requiring admission aged between 2 months and 5 years. The secondary objectives were to determine the risk factors associated with hypoglycemia and the outcome at 24 hours of admission. Methodology Consecutive enrolment of patients who satisfied the study criteria had blood samples taken by heel prick following aseptic measures and analyzed using the Hemocue® glucose analyzer. A questionnaire was issued to the parent or guardian after performing resuscitation measures on the child where necessary and a physical examination done thereafter. The outcome of the child at 24 hours after admission was then documented. Results Four out of the 111 children enrolled into the study were found to have hypoglycemia with a prevalence of 3.6%. However, five children (4.5%) were found to be hyperglycemic. Hypoglycemia was found to complicate various childhood illnesses. None of the factors assessed such as fasting more than 12 hours, childhood diseases such as Malaria, Pneumonia, Meningitis, Gastroenteritis and Malnutrition was found to be statistically significantly associated with hypoglycemia. Similarly, the presence of hypoglycemia was not significantly associated with the outcome at 24 hours of admission.