• central line–associated blood stream infection;
  • hang time;
  • total parenteral nutrition


To investigate the effects of prolonging hang time of total parenteral nutrition (TPN) fluid on central line–associated blood stream infection (CLABSI), TPN-related cost and nursing workload.


A before–after observational study comparing the practice of hanging TPN bags for 48 h (6 February 2009–5 February 2010) versus 24 h (6 February 2008–5 February 2009) in a tertiary neonatal intensive care unit was conducted. The main outcome measures were CLABSI, TPN-related expenses and nursing workload.


One hundred thirty-six infants received 24-h TPN bags and 124 received 48-h TPN bags. Median (inter-quartile range) gestation (37 weeks (33,39) vs. 36 weeks (33,39)), mean (±standard deviation) admission weight of 2442 g (±101) versus 2476 g (±104) and TPN duration (9.7 days (±12.7) vs. 9.9 days (±13.4)) were similar (P > 0.05) between the 24- and 48-h TPN groups. There was no increase in CLABSI with longer hang time (0.8 vs. 0.4 per 1000 line days in the 24-h vs. 48-h group; P < 0.05). Annual cost saving using 48-h TPN was AUD 97 603.00. By using 48-h TPN, 68.3% of nurses indicated that their workload decreased and 80.5% indicated that time spent changing TPN reduced.


Extending TPN hang time from 24 to 48 h did not alter CLABSI rate and was associated with a reduced TPN-related cost and perceived nursing workload. Larger randomised controlled trials are needed to more clearly delineate these effects.