What is Total Parenteral Nutrition?

Total parenteral nutrition (TPN) is a type of specialized nutrition support that is given intravenously (directly into the bloodstream) to patients who cannot obtain adequate nutrition through oral or enteral (tube feeding) routes. TPN is a complex solution that contains all the necessary macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats), micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), and electrolytes needed to support the patient’s nutritional needs.

TPN is typically prescribed for patients who have conditions that prevent them from absorbing nutrients through their digestive system, such as severe malabsorption syndromes, short bowel syndrome, or intestinal obstruction. It may also be used in patients who are unable to eat due to surgery, trauma, or severe illness.

TPN is prepared in a sterile environment and administered through a central venous catheter (a tube that is inserted into a large vein, usually in the chest or arm). The catheter is used to deliver the TPN solution directly into the bloodstream, where it can be transported throughout the body to provide the patient with the nutrients they need to maintain their health.

TPN is a complex therapy that requires careful monitoring and management by a team of healthcare professionals, including physicians, pharmacists, and registered dietitians. Possible complications associated with TPN include infections, metabolic disturbances, and liver dysfunction, among others.