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Hypocalcemia - infants

Contents of this page:



Alternative Names    Return to top

Calcium level - low - infants

Definition    Return to top

Hypocalcemia is an abnormally low blood calcium level. This article discusses low blood calcium levels in infants.

Causes    Return to top

Calcium is a salt that is helps the heart and muscles work. A healthy baby usually has very careful control of blood calcium levels.

Common causes of hypocalcemia in a newborn, include prematurity, stress, infection, diabetes in the birth mother, and certain medications. There are also some rare illnesses that can result in low calcium levels.

Symptoms    Return to top

There are frequently no symptoms in babies with hypocalcemia. Sometimes, babies with low calcium levels are jittery, and rarely have seizures.

Exams and Tests    Return to top

There are often no signs. Diagnosis is usually made when a blood test shows that the infant's calcium levels are low.

Outlook (Prognosis)    Return to top

Long-term hypocalcemia results in poor bone formation, which may lead to very brittle bones that are prone to breaking.

Update Date: 11/27/2007

Updated by: Deirdre O’Reilly, M.D., M.P.H., Neonatologist, Division of Newborn Medicine, Children’s Hospital Boston and Instructor in Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

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