Jitteriness

Jitteriness is defined as rhythmic tremors of equal amplitude and is frequently seen in the healthy infant. These tremors can be easily initiated in the susceptible newborn by external stimuli such as handling or loud noise. One can stop the tremor by gently holding the affected extremity. Although jit-teriness often occurs in the healthy infant, tremors may be a manifestation of a variety of neonatal problems, including hypoglycemia, hypocalcemia, drug withdrawal from maternal drug use, and perinatal asphyxia. In the infant with persistent or exaggerated tremors, possible causes must be investigated (Hoekelman, 2001).

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