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Feeding - Breastmilk and enteral feeding hang time in PICU

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Guidelines for Storage of Breastmilk

Room temperature (<26ÂșC) Up to 4 hours (colostrum & mature milk)1
Refrigerated breastmilk 5 days2
Store milk in the back of the main body of fridge
Frozen breastmilk 2 weeks in freezer box in fridge
3 to 6 months in separate door fridge/freezer
6 -12 months separate deep freeze
NB. Store milk towards the back o the freezer, where the temperature is most constant
1. Ministry of Health 2008 Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy Infants and Toddlers  (Aged 0- 2): A background paper (4th Ed).Wellington
2. Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. (2004) Clinical Protocol Number #8: Human Milk

Guidelines for Hang Times of Enteral Feeds

Formula Maximum hang time1
Infant feed made from powder and decanted in Fluids Room or ward 4 hours
Infant pre-packaged sterile liquid 'ready-to-feed' in 60ml - 100ml bottles,
(e.g. Karicare RTF, Nutriprem or Infatrini)
6 hours
Child or adult liquid feed which has been opened or poured into another bottle 12 hours
Ready to hang liquid feed (unopened) 24-36 hours as per manufacturers instructions
Modular feed infants or children
Modular feed adolescents or adults
4 hours
12 hours
N.B. Discard any unused feed 24 hours after preparation
1. New Zealand Dietetic Association 2007 Clinical Handbook, 8th edition

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Document Control

  • Date last published: 01 October 2008
  • Document type: Clinical Guideline
  • Services responsible: Paediatric Intensive Care Unit
  • Author(s): Barbara Cormack
  • Owner: Liz Segedin
  • Review frequency: 2 years