Detection of Neonatal Hypoglycemia — A Comparison of Three Reagent Strips

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This article reports two studies that replicate previous investigations of the effectiveness of Chemstrip bG, Dextrostix and Visidex for making nursing assessments of hypoglycemia in the newborn. The article also describes a third study that combines results of the first two studies with results of previous studies in the literature in an attempt to improve the reliability and validity of the findings. In the first study, 102 blood samples were tested using either Chemstrip bG or Dextrostix and then compared with laboratory blood glucose levels. Because of the small number of hypoglycemic samples, a second study was devised in which six samples of cord blood were artificially titrated to known levels of glucose. In this study, Visidex as well as Chemstrip bG and Dextrostix were used. Eighty-five percent, 50 percent and 90.4 percent of the hypoglycemic samples were detected by Chemstrip bG, Dextrostix and Visidex, respectively. Data available in the literature from previous studies investigating the same question were then compiled and analyzed. The composite sample of 402 infants for Dextrostix and 484 for Chemstrip bG resulted in the finding that less than half of the hypoglycemic infants tested with Dextrostix were detected whereas Chemstrip bG detected 90 percent of them. The conclusion reached is that both Chemstrip bG and Visidex can be considered adequate screening techniques for nursing assessment of hypoglycemia in the newborn, while visually read Dextrostix is unacceptable in clinical practice.

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