Hypoglycemia in the Emergency Department

Jami Josefson*, Donald Zimmerman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Infants and children presenting to the emergency department with hypoglycemia are a diagnostic emergency and require urgent treatment. The metabolic adaptive patterns of fasting occur earlier in children compared to adults, most notably with the development of ketone bodies. Glucose is the preferred energy source for the brain; however, when deprived of glucose, ketone bodies are an alternative fuel that may cross the blood-brain barrier. As infants and children have a relatively larger brain to body size and their rates of glucose use are higher, they are at increased risk of hypoglycemia. Collection of the "critical sample" to assist in the diagnostic work-up and urgent treatment to stabilize blood glucose levels is of paramount importance to protect the developing brain from glucose deprivation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-291
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Pediatric Emergency Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009


  • Hypoglycemia
  • critical sample
  • infants and children
  • ketotic hypoglycemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Emergency Medicine


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