London: Researchers have suggested that a dose of 'sugar gel'- which means rubbing sugar into the inside of the baby's cheek in the form of gel-is a cheap and effective way to protect premature babies against brain damage.
According to the scientists, who tested the gel therapy in 242 babies under their care, it should now be a first-line treatment.
Current treatment typically involves extra feeding and repeated blood tests to measure blood sugar levels.
Prof Jane Harding and her team at the University of Auckland Dextrose said that gel treatment costs just over 1 pound per baby and is simpler to administer than glucose via a drip.
The study is published in The Lancet.