Relationship between Hypoglycemia and Home Remedies among Critically Ill Children in a Developing Country: An Undisclosed Danger

Author(s): Uleanya Nwachinemere Davidson*, Aniwada Elias Chikee and Nduagubam Obinna Chukwuebuka

Background: Critically ill children are those in need of immediate attention on presentation. Hypoglycemia is known to complicate many critical illnesses and lead to higher morbidity and mortality for affected children in sub-Saharan Africa. Its effect is lethal as it has been shown to be an independent risk factor for increased mortality and worsening organ function. Many are of the opinion that herbal (home remedies) medications contribute to hypoglycemia among critically ill children. Aim: The study aims to determine the association between herbal medications and hypoglycemia. Subjects and methods: Analytical cross sectional method was used to study critically ill children aged ≥ 1 month to ≤ 10 years admitted into the Children Emergency Room of Enugu State University Teaching Hospital. Their admission blood glucose was done at presentation. Interviewer administered questionnaire was used to collect information needed. Both bivariate and multivariate logistic regressions were done. Results: A total of 300 patients were recruited. Seventeen children received home remedies while 283 did not. Among those that received home remedies 47.1% (8/17) had hypoglycaemia while 16.7% (47/283) of those that did not receive home remedies had hypoglycaemia (p<0.01). Those that received home remedies were about 4.4 times (p<0.01, AOR=0.23, 95% CI: 0.08 - 0.67) adjusting and unadjusting (p<0.01, UOR=0.23, 95% CI: 0.08 - 0.62) for other factors respectively more likely to have hypoglycemia than those who did not receive home remedies. Conclusion: Herbal medications are sinister cause of hypoglycemia especially in the critically ill nondiabetic children and needs to be discouraged.


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