Current guidelines for intravenous feeding may need revisions to prevent bloodstream infections more effectively, a new study suggests.

Researchers from the United Kingdom’s University of Southampton discovered that laboratory studies supporting current recommendations were not “carefully controlled,” Peter Austin, Ph.D, told McKnight’s

The researchers wanted to examine whether lipids “facilitate considerable growth” of bacteria or fungi, which current guidelines suggest, Austin said. Feed with lipids cannot be administered from the same bag for more than 24 hours, which may be beneficial in certain situations, he noted. 

The researchers sampled bags with and without lipids at different glucose concentrations, examining the growth of bacteria at different intervals. Results showed that the inclusion of lipids do increase bacterial growth. In addition, they found other factors that can affect the growth of bacteria, Austin said. 

“This piece of work indicates that all relevant factors should be taken into account when making recommendations for clinical practice rather than relying on a single factor,” he said.