03 Aug What is TPN Infusion Therapy?
TPN infusion therapy, or Total Parental Nutrition, is usually given intravenously. A person who is on TPN infusion therapy may be receiving all of their complete nutrition through an IV.
As per Clinical Nurse Specialist – Jane Anne (MSN, RN) in the Nutrition Support Service and Interstitial Care Center, ‘parenteral’ mean eating or entering (i.e. enteral) via an IV (i.e. par). So the word itself describes what it refers to.
TPN infusion therapy gives a person most of the nutrients and calories his or her body requires to function and grow. The solution that is given to them through the IV has carbohydrates (in the form of glucose), protein, fat, glucose, mineral and vitamins.
- Carbohydrates and sugar or glucose are needed by the body to create energy. Glucose and Carbohydrates come from eating foods like bread, pasta, and fruits.
- Protein is essential for creating the body’s muscle strength. One usually gets proteins from consuming eggs, cheese and meat.
- Fat is also required for the body to stay healthy. TPN has its share of fat too, but not so much as to cause one to become overweight.
When do patients need TPN infusion therapy
If a patient’s digestive system is not functioning properly or a part of it isn’t performing well then they may require TPN. This could mean a GI (gastrointestinal) malfunction that reduces the working of the digestive tract. If someone is not able to swallow their food or push the food through their digestive tract or their body isn’t capable of absorbing the nutrients from the food they consume, they may be a candidate for TPN infusion therapy.
A patient may also require TPN if they suffer from MD (microvillus inclusion disease) or has suffered a trauma or injury to the intestines. Many patients who are waiting for their turn for an intestinal transplant also are put on a TPN their proper intake of a balanced diet.
Many who are getting TPN suffer from short gut syndrome, otherwise called short bowel syndrome. This is a situation in which the small intestine is either not working or is missing from the body (removed from the body for some reason). It is the small intestine that aids the absorption of nutrients from the food that is consumed. The small intestine is vital for the body to function properly.
TPN is also required for a patient who may need to supplement their diet, as they may not be getting all the essential nutrients from what they are eating otherwise. Some people are able to eat but their body (intestines) are not able to absorb the nutrients from what they eat. So, a TPN may be required even though he or she is eating.
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