What is Parenteral Nutrition?
  • What is Parenteral Nutrition?

What is Parenteral Nutrition?

What is Parenteral Nutrition?

Parenteral nutrition, also known as intravenous nutrition or total parenteral nutrition (TPN), is a medical technique in which nutrition is delivered directly to the body through intravenous infusion. It is used when patients are unable to absorb or digest sufficient nutrients through normal food intake.

Parenteral nutrition involves administering a nutrient solution containing essential nutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals and trace elements. These nutrients are essential for the growth, repair and general health of the body.

Parenteral nutrition is usually used when the gastrointestinal tract is not functioning properly or when the patient is unable to eat by mouth. It may be necessary for several medical conditions, including:

  1. Severe malnutrition: When patients are significantly malnourished and unable to obtain adequate nutrients naturally.

  2. Gastrointestinal disorders: Certain conditions such as intestinal obstruction, intestinal fistula, severe inflammatory bowel disease or intestinal failure may require parenteral nutrition.

  3. Severe injuries or burns: Patients with severe injuries or extensive burns may require parenteral nutrition to support high nutrient requirements and promote recovery.

  4. Post-Operative Care: After major surgery that temporarily stops the gastrointestinal tract from functioning, parenteral nutrition can be used until normal feeding is resumed.

Parenteral nutrition requires careful monitoring and adjustment, as each patient's nutritional requirements may vary individually. It is usually managed in hospitals or other medical facilities under the supervision of a multidisciplinary team, including doctors, nutritionists, and nurses.

While parenteral nutrition can be an effective way to meet nutritional needs in patients who cannot eat normally, it also carries risks such as infection, liver and gallbladder problems, and electrolyte imbalances. Therefore, careful monitoring and management is essential to ensure the safety and effectiveness of therapy.