Infection Control - enteral feeds
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Infection control - Enteral feeds
Enteral feeds can be prescribed for nutritional support of patients with cystic fibrosis while in hospital and at home.
- Enteral feeds are a potential risk of microbial contamination which could be passed on to patients(1).
- This risk can occur at any time during preparation or manipulation, storage or administration of the feed.
- To minimize this risk there should be strict adherence to local hospital policy for enteral feeding and infection control which includes preparation of feed, storage of feed, hang times and equipment used to deliver the feed.
- Where possible use prepackaged ready to hang liquid feeds with a delivery system that requires minimal handling in preference to feeds requiring manipulation or decanting(2).
Guideline for hang times of enteral feeds(3)
|Formula||Maximum Hang Time|
|Expressed Breast Milk (EBM)
Infant feed made from powder
Infant pre-packaged sterile liquid formula 'ready to feed'
|Modular feed infants or
Modular feed adolescents or adults
|Canned or liquid feed which has been opened or poured into another bottle||12 hours|
|Ready to hang liquid feed||24-36 hours as per manufacturers instructions|
|N.B. Discard any unused feed 24 hours after preparation|
- Casewell M W, Cooper J E , Webster M, Enteral feeds contaminated with Enterobacter cloacae as a cause of septicaemia. Br Med J(Clin Res Ed). 1981 Mar 21; 282(6268): 973 [cited 2016 Feb. 27] Ful text available at www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1504797/
- National Clinical Guideline Centre. (2012). Infection: Prevention and Control of Healthcare-Associated Infections in Primary and Community Care: Partial Update of NICE Clinical Guideline 2. Retrieved from https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg139/evidence/control-full-guideline-185186701
- Dietitians New Zealand Clinical Handbook, 10th Edition 2013, Lyn Gillanders (Editor) and Anna Sloan (Deputy Editor)
- NZ CF Clinical Network Group
Information last reviewed: October 2016
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