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Iyer et al1 report the effects of a neonatal weight-monitoring policy on the incidence of hypernatraemic dehydration. This policy led to an increased recognition of affected infants, and identified cases at an earlier and milder degree of dehydration. We examined the effect of introducing a similar policy on cases of more severe dehydration. We wished to test whether the background rate of hypernatraemic dehydration was rising and to test whether a weight-monitoring policy had any effect on the background incidence.
We studied cases of moderate and severe hypernatraemic dehydration in infants born in a single maternity unit attached to the sole in-patient paediatric unit for the city. The maternity unit delivers approximately 3500 births per annum. Infants requiring re-admission in the neonatal period may be admitted to the paediatric in-patient unit or to the maternity hospital of birth. We reviewed the biochemical records for 9 years (January 1998 – December …