Floppy Baby JCG0009 v3.1
Hypotonia is a relatively common finding in the newborn period. Most infants will appear hypotonic during sleep or when first roused. Many will have transient self-resolving hypotonia particularly after a prolonged or difficult labour. These infants require only an initial clinical assessment to exclude severe hypotonia and/or weakness and to identify one of a number of relatively benign explanations including prematurity. In these cases extensive investigations are not necessary and parents may be reassured that their baby will recover and become more active with time.
Only a few infants require more detailed assessment and investigation but for those with profound or persistent hypotonia the range of differential diagnoses is large the investigations required may be complex and expensive and there is a need for an accurate diagnosis in order to direct appropriate management including therapy counselling and genetic advice. This guideline offers a step-wise approach to the assessment of newborn infants with hypotonia to aid accurate diagnosis without unnecessary investigations.
Clinical GuidelinesThis guideline has been approved by the Trust's Clinical Guidelines Assessment Panel as an aid to the diagnosis and management of relevant patients and clinical circumstances. Not every patient or situation fits neatly into a standard guideline scenario and the guideline must be interpreted and applied in practice in the light of prevailing clinical circumstances, the diagnostic and treatment options available and the professional judgement, knowledge and expertise of relevant clinicians. It is advised that the rationale for any departure from relevant guidance should be documented in the patient's case notes.
The Trust's guidelines are made publicly available as part of the collective endeavour to continuously improve the quality of healthcare through sharing medical experience and knowledge. The Trust accepts no responsibility for any misunderstanding or misapplication of this document.