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What is parenteral nutrition and why can this be especially necessary in infants?
“PN is used to treat children that cannot be fully fed by oral or enteral route, for example due to severe intestinal failure. Intestinal failure occurs when the gastrointestinal tract is unable to ingest, digest and absorb sufficient macronutrients and/or water and electrolytes to maintain health and growth. Children differ from adults in that their food intake must provide sufficient nutrients not only for the maintenance of body tissues but also for growth. This is particularly true in infancy and during adolescence when children grow extremely rapidly. At these times children are particularly sensitive to energy restriction because of high basal and anabolic requirements. The ability to provide sufficient nutrients parenterally to sustain growth in infants and children suffering from intestinal failure or severe functional intestinal immaturity represents one of the most important therapeutic advances in paediatrics over the last three decades…”.
Indications for PN
“…The time when PN should be initiated will depend both on individual circumstances and the age …
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.