Complications of nutritional support

Nutritional support is necessary for many hospitalised patients who should not, cannot or will not eat.

Parenteral nutrition (PN) utilises specially formulated mixtures containing lipids, emulsions, and sources of nitrogen, electrolytes, vitamins, trace elements and sufficient calories to sustain a patient. PN is delivered directly into the patient’s bloodstream via a central venous catheter.

Accelerate research identified that there are approximately 1200 patients in England using PN at home. Community parenteral nutrition users require portable pumps which are often carried in a backpack. Pumps are usually selected on the basis of portability, ease of use and noise. The major complications identified, that are associated with parenteral nutrition include catheter related infections, metabolic and thrombotic complications.


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