Total parenteral nutrition (TPN) will help you or your child get nutrition from a special formula through a vein in the body. Your doctor will select the right amount of calories and TPN solution. Sometimes, you can also eat and drink while getting nutrition from TPN.
Your nurse will teach you how to take care of the catheter and skin, operate the pump, flush the catheter, and deliver food and medicine through the catheter.
It is very important to wash your hands well and handle supplies as your nurse told you, to prevent infection.
You will also have regular blood tests to make sure the TPN is giving you the right nutrition.
Keeping hands and surfaces free from germs and bacteria will prevent infection. Before your start TPN, make sure the tables and surfaces nearby have been washed and dried, or place a clean towel over the surface. You will need this clean surface for all of the supplies.
Keep pets and people who are sick away. Try not to cough or sneeze on your work surfaces.
Wash your hands thoroughly with an antibacterial soap before TPN infusion. Turn on the water, wet hands and wrists and lather up a good amount of soap all over for at least 15 seconds. Then rinse your hands with fingertips pointing down before drying with a clean towel.
Keep your TPN solution in the refrigerator, and check the expiration date before use. Throw it away if it is past the date.
Do not use the bag if it has leaks, change in color, or floating pieces. Call the supply company to let them know.
To warm the solution, take it out of the refrigerator 2 to 4 hours before use. You can also run warm sink water over the bag. Never heat it up in the microwave.
Before you use the bag, you will add special medications or vitamins. After washing your hands and cleaning your surfaces:
Your nurse will show you how to use the pump. You should also follow the instructions that come with your pump. After you infuse your medication or vitamins:
See also: Central venous catheter - flushing
Call your the doctor or nurse if you:
Updated by: George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, California. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.
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