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Protecting parenteral solutions from light may increase preterm survival rate

Posted:  Monday, October 12, 2015

Preterm infants, the ones born before 30 weeks of gestation, can’t eat by mouth and hence are fed parenterally. A new study has found that shielding the nutritional mixture from light can improve the preterm survival rate.

Canadian researchers reviewed studies on parenteral nutrition among 800 preterm infants. They were scheduled to receive either a light exposed or light protected solution. They found that mortality in infants in the light protected group was half of that in the light-exposed group.

According to the researchers, when the nutritional solutions are exposed to light; toxic or oxidising molecules such as hydrogen peroxides are formed. Preterm infants do not have a developed antioxidant defence system. Thus protecting from light could prevent any serious complications in the lung or kidney.

According to the researchers, the solutions must be protected from when they are prepared in the pharmacy to when they pass through bags, tubes and syringes and are received by the infants. At present, this is not being followed in hospitals. The researchers are extending their area of research to evaluate the effects of light protection of parental solutions on the quality of life in children and adults.

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