Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN)


Total Parenteral Nutrition is a process of providing the human body with nutrients through a catheter into the vena total_parenteral_nutritioncava. TPN may be used in cases where an individual’s digestive tract is unable to properly process, digest and absorb nutrients into the stomach. Total parenteral nutrition may be given through an intravenous line (IV) into the veins. Many people call this “intravenous feedings.”


This may be used in cases such as:

  • used in cases where the intestine is temporarily or permanently compromised
  • often used¬†as a temporary, short term method to supply the body with nutrients allowing the digestive tract to be bypassed and therefore less energy to be expended by the body to obtain needed metabolites.
  • children undergoing treatment for cancer sometimes need TPN to help meet their nutritional needs.
  • Individuals who have recently undergone gastrointestinal surgery and the GI tract needs time to recover

TPN composition

A mixture of:

  • ¬†glucose
  • protein
  • fat
  • vitamins
  • minerals

Hamilton, Helen. 2000. Total Parenteral Nutriton: A practical guide for nurses. Churchill Livingstone.,M1