Parenteral nutrition solutions and the incidence of refeeding syndrome in extremely low birthweight babies

Project Code: 10467923

Faculty: Liggins Institute

Department: Liggins Institute

Main Supervisor: Professor Frank Bloomfield

Application open date: 10 Sep 2020

Application deadline: 31 Mar 2021

Enrolment information: NZ Citizens, NZ Permanent Residents, International


Data from a recent randomised controlled trial reported significant incidence of refeeding syndrome in the first week after birth in extremely low birthweight babies. Incidence of refeeding syndrome varied across New Zealand’s neonatal intensive care units and was associated with increased mortality. Nutrition practices also vary across units. Auckland City Hospital has revised its nutrition policies in the light of these findings and will introduce new parenteral nutrition (PN) solutions in late 2020 / early 2021.  

What we are looking for in a successful applicant

You must meet the University of Auckland's requirements for entry to a Master's programme.


This project will utilise a combination of retrospective data from the clinical trial, retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data prior to the change to new solutions but after some revision to guidelines, and prospective data following change to new PN solutions on serum biochemistry (electrolyte concentrations) and red cell thiamine concentrations. The relationship of serum biochemical markers to nutritional intakes and to clinical outcomes, including intraventricular haemorrhage, late-onset sepsis and death, will be explored.

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