Background: The benefits of breast feeding are well established worldwide. Inadequate breastfeeding may result in severe complications such as hypernatremic dehydration. This condition is rare and not well known. In this case report, we describe a case of severe hypernatremic dehydration revealed by fever with delayed consultation.
Presentation of case: We report the case of an exclusively breastfed male newborn. He was referred on the 13th day of life because of lethargy and fever. He had a severe dehydration on clinical examination. Serum sodium was of 172 mmol/L. The breast milk sodium was high as compared to a volunteer control (85 mmol/L vs 19 mmol/L). Breastfeeding was temporarily suspended and reintroduced after 5 days with favorable evolution.
Conclusion: Breast feeding associated hypernatremia can cause life-threatening complications in newborns. Prevention requires frequent and sufficient breastfeeding and weight gain monitoring during the first days of life.
Salem Yahyaoui, Sonia Mazigh and Azza Sammoud
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