Severe hypernatremic dehydration in a breastfed infant

Faton Krasniqi, Lindita Kryeziu, Haki Jashari


Objective - To report a rare case of hypernatremic dehydration in an exclusively breastfed infant.

Case report - We present a term newborn, 14-day-old boy, exclusively breastfed, who was lethargic and severely dehydrated upon admission (35% birth weight loss). The newborn was found to have severe hypernatremic dehydration (Na+ 197 mmol/l), acute renal insufficiency (Creatinine 273 umol/l) and metabolic acidosis. Also, the blood culture result was positive. Intravenous rehydration and antibiotic therapy were started. After 22 days of hospitalization, the infant was discharged home in a good general condition. Now the child is 13 months old, he is healthy and no neurologic sequelae are noticed.

Conclusion - Hypernatremic dehydration in newborns is a rare complication, which is dangerous, but also preventable. Prevention consists in educating mothers about successful breastfeeding techniques, and also early newborn reassessment after discharge from the hospital is mandatory.


Hypernatremic dehydration; Newborn; Breastfeeding

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