Total parenteral nutrition (TPN) is a method of feeding a patient while bypassing their gastrointestinal tract. Nutrition is obtained by infusing a specialized formula through a vein. This treatment is used to manage and treat malnourishment, especially for those people with a condition that impedes them from using their digestive system.
Patients whose digestive systems either can’t tolerate or can’t absorb food properly are ideal candidates for parenteral nutrition. Some people use total parenteral nutrition to supplement their enteral nutrition; others might need TPN for weeks, months, or even life.
Some of the leading reasons a patient should need parenteral nutrition are:
Digestive tract cancer
Abnormal bowel function
Ischemic bowel disease
Short bowel syndrome
Any bowel malfunction can severely alter how our body absorbs and retains nutrients from food. Moreover, some cancer treatments, like chemotherapy, might cause the body to absorb nutrients poorly.
Before the procedure, the parenteral nutrition specialist should determine which type of catheter is right for each patient. In almost every case, a thin and flexible tube has to be fixed and inserted into a vein. A portion of the catheter can be out of the body or completely beneath the skin.
During the procedure, the patient should be under heavy sedation or anesthesia. Then a catheter is inserted into a vein leading to the heart to deliver the nutrients quickly to the body.
After the procedure, the health team will monitor the patient’s response to parenteral nutrition. They will also show the caregivers how to manage and administer parenteral nutrition at home. Depending on the reason for using TPN, the doctors can modify the prescribed treatment at some point.
A doctor should customize the parenteral nutrition formula to the patient’s nutritional requirements. However, it might include different mixtures of these six essential nutrients: water, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Specialists will make the total parenteral nutrition calculations required to ensure the formula meets the patient’s needs.
Catheter infection is a common complication of parenteral nutrition and can be severe. Here are some precautions that the medical team should take to prevent the catheter, the wound site, or the formula from getting infected:
Keep clean the surfaces and supplies
Maintain the wound clean and appropriately ventilated
Do not cough or sneeze on the work surfaces
Washing hands with antibacterial soap before any TPN infusion manipulation
A registered nurse can manage and administer TPN with expert skills. While a physician should insert the catheter at a clinic or a hospital, a nurse can perform most of the total parenteral nutrition activities at the patient’s home.
Our nurses help the patients and their families maintain strict sterilization standards to prevent infections. They can also keep track of their prescribed medications or therapies, teach caregivers how to calculate parenteral nutrition, support some activities of daily living, and manage symptoms and side effects, among other tasks.
Professional involvement in total parenteral nutrition costs depends on your health requirements and medical insurance. So please, feel free to call us about any inquiry or information regarding a patient’s home care and TPN administration and management.
At Signature, we have the experience and resources to provide the best support for the patient and the family. Also, our registered nurses may help with assistance and could support any treatment process.
For more information on how Signature Health Services can help with your healthcare needs, please call 1 (800) 277-8291 (option 1) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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