Parenteral Nutrition (PN)

Parenteral Nutrition (PN) is a method of medical nutrition where nutrients (sterile solutions of simple sugar-dextrose, amino acids, lipid emulsions, vitamins and minerals) are directly delivered into a large-diameter vein, usually a vein close to the heart, but sometimes into small-diameter peripheral veins, the latter typically for short term nutrition support.

PN is used when feeding through the gastrointestinal tract is not feasible or when it is not medically safe to do so.  In some instances, PN may be used to supplement EN where adequate nutrition cannot be provided through oral or enteral mode.

Examples of conditions likely to require PN include:

  • Short bowel syndrome
  • High output intestinal fistula
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Mechanical bowel obstruction- stenosis, strictures or cancer
  • Prolonged paralytic ileus
  • Bowel ischemia
  • Severe pancreatitis

See the following links for more information on Parenteral Nutrition http://espen.info/documents/0909/intensive%20care.pdf