Calcium level - low - infants
Alternative NamesCalcium level - low - infants
Hypocalcemia is an abnormally low blood calcium level.
A healthy baby's body usually has very careful control of blood calcium levels. There are several common causes of hypocalcemia in a newborn, including prematurity, stress, infection, diabetes in the birth mother, and some medications. There are also some rare illnesses that can result in low calcium levels.
Calcium is a salt that is important to many systems in the body, especially heart and muscle function. There are frequently no signs in babies with hypocalcemia -- the diagnosis is usually made when a blood test that measures the calcium is low. Sometimes, babies with low calcium levels are jittery, and rarely even have seizures.
For the short-term, severe hypocalcemia may cause jitteriness or seizures. For the long-term, prolonged low calcium supply results in poor bone formation (osteopenia) which may result in very brittle bones that are prone to fractures.