Researchers from the University of Auckland, New Zealand revealed in the last week of September 2013 that the dose of sugar in the form of gel can help premature babies against the risk of brain damage. This is known as Dextrose gel treatment.
The sugar gel should be rubbed in the inside of cheeks and this is proven as the effective and cheapest possible way. It is important to note that around one out of every ten premature baby faces the risk of low blood sugar level, which eventually affects them. If left untreated, it can lead to permanent harm.
For their study, the researchers tested the sugar gel therapy on 242 babies under care. Based on results of their findings, it was revealed that this should become the first-line treatment. The cost of Dextrose gel treatment is merely 1 Pound per baby and is also simple to administer in comparison with the glucose through the drip.
Prof Jane Harding and her team at the University of Auckland explained that the present treatment involved extra feeding as well as repeated blood tests in order to measure the blood sugar level. However, there are a lot of babies who need to be admitted in the intensive care as well as given the intravenous glucose. This is done because their blood sugar level remains very low. This condition is medically known as hypoglycaemia.
In the study, the researchers assessed whether the treatment involving dextrose gel was better and effective than the feeding alone, for the purpose of reversing hypoglycaemia.
Andy Cole, chief executive of premature baby charity Bliss explained that the research was interesting and that this had the potential of improving the outcomes for the babies who are sick or premature.
However, despite showing the early positive signs of benefit to the premature babies with low blood sugar level, it is important to note that further research was required for implementation of the treatment.