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Zinc Deficiency Dermatitis in Premature Infants Tied to Zinc Shortage — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
February 22, 2013

Zinc Deficiency Dermatitis in Premature Infants Tied to Zinc Shortage

By Christine Sadlowski

Zinc deficiency linked to a shortage of injectable zinc has been tied to severe dermatitis in three extremely premature newborns with cholestasis, researchers report in MMWR. The infants had perioral erosions and bullae on the hands and feet.

Other potential causes such as infections, medication reactions, and parenteral nutrition changes were ruled out, and the lesions improved with enteral zinc supplementation.

Extremely premature infants catabolize zinc rapidly and cannot store it. The authors note that the national shortage of injectable zinc might lead to cases in other neonatal intensive care units. They refer to American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition recommendations for judicious use of trace elements involved in shortages.

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