It would be difficult to think of a more basic human need than nutrition. In past years, if an illness prevented someone from eating and getting the nutrition that they needed, there was never a good outcome. Today, intravenous feeding (Parenteral Nutrition) provides nutrition through the veins. For some patients, IV feeding will be temporary, keeping them strong while they recover, but for others, Parenteral Nutrition will be required for the rest of their lives.
Who Would Need to Receive Parenteral Nutrition?
People of any age may need parenteral nutrition, from a newborn to a senior. When an individual eats normally, the stomach and bowel break down food so that it can then be absorbed by the bowel. Nutrients are then carried by the blood throughout the body.
By contrast, parenteral nutrition bypasses the normal digestive process in the stomach and bowel. An IV catheter or needle is inserted into a large vein where it can remain as long as necessary. A special liquid food is supplied into the blood, containing essential proteins, fats, carbohydrates or sugars, vitamins and minerals, such as iron or calcium.
Those with Crohn’s disease or cancer may be required to receive necessary nutrients in this manner. People with bowel issues, such as ischemic bowel disease or short bowel syndrome or those who are critically ill also benefit from intravenous feeding.
How Common is Parenteral Nutrition?
As many as 400,000 patients received intravenous feeding during their hospital stays. About 33% of those patients were newborn babies or children, illustrating the importance of parenteral nutrition. Many others receive this treatment at clinics and other healthcare facilities or at their homes.
How Safe is Parenteral Nutrition?
Parenteral nutrition is a life-saving therapy, but it’s also complex. In most cases, people do very well. However, possible complications could include infection and metabolic issues. The best way to optimize the patient’s outcome is to ensure that experienced medical personnel are managing this essential treatment.
Allegheny Medical Integrated Health Services provide personalized medical care for Coraopolis, Pittsburgh and the surrounding region. They offer a wide array of health services in their state-of-the-art facilities, including family medicine, physical therapy, urgent care, assistance with weight loss and nutrition, women’s health, mental health and occupational health.
Their focus is always on providing those treatments and procedures that will provide the fastest and most complete recovery possible for their patients. Of course, walk-in patients are always welcome. You can also connect with them on Facebook for more updates.