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Sweet-tasting solutions such as sucrose and glucose have been shown in a large number of studies to be efficacious in reducing procedure-related pain in newborn infants.1 However, issues concerning the risk of bacterial contamination of such solutions have been raised. Abu-Arafeh et al reported significant bacterial contamination of a 10% sucrose solution occurring 24 hours after preparation.2 To further examine this issue, an audit was conducted to determine the growth of bacteria in both refrigerated and unrefrigerated 33% (w/v) sucrose solution over a one-month period. This concentration of sucrose is routinely used for procedure-related pain reduction in infants in the tertiary referral neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) where this audit took place.3,4
The sucrose solution was prepared in the Pharmacy Department of the tertiary …
Funding: The laboratory cultures were financed by the Royal Children’s Hospital.
Competing interests: None.