Sometimes a baby's digestive system can't absorb nutrients. Total parenteral nutrition (TPN) gives your baby protein, carbohydrate, and fats through a tube (catheter). This tube is inserted into a vein. The tube allows liquid nutrients to go directly into the blood. The blood carries the nutrients to the tissues and organs that need them. These nutrients do not have to go through the digestive system.
Your baby may need TPN because of:
Your baby can get nutrition by TPN for as long as needed. When he or she can feed normally, TPN stops.
The doctor carefully places one end of a thin, flexible tube into a major vein. In newborns, this may be done through the belly button. The doctor then takes an X-ray to make sure that the inside end of the tube is in the right place. The outside end of the tube is called the port. That's where the TPN goes in.
TPN comes in a pouch. This is attached to a pump. The pump sends the nutrients into the tube 24 hours a day.
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Current as of: March 28, 2018
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
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