Nutrition Support

What is Nutrition Support Therapy?

If a person cannot eat enough food to sustain them, nutrition must be supplied in a different way. It can be supplied either through enteral nutrition (tube feeding into the digestive tract) or parenteral nutrition (intravenous solution into the veins). The goal of nutrition support is to help patients live their lives as normally as possible by minimizing infections, preventing malnutrition, and improving patient outcomes. Each patient’s nutrition prescription is tailored to best meet his or her individual needs.

What is Enteral Nutrition?Also know as tube feeding, it is a method of administering nutrition through a tube, which is placed into the stomach or small bowel. Reasons one might receive a tube feeding is if you have difficulties in swallowing, a surgery that interferes with eating, or a decreased appetite in which the calorie needs cannot be met. Tube feeding is a special liquid food mixture containing, fats, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, and protein. Infants and children, as well as adults may receive tube feedings. Many times, tube feedings are only temporary and can be removed once a person is able to resume normal eating. nutrisup
What is Parenteral Nutrition?Previously known as TPN (Total Parenteral Nutrition) or Hyperalimentation, it is a method of administering a special liquid food mixture into the blood through an intravenous (IV) catheter (needle in the vein). The mixture contains fats, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, and protein. Parenteral Nutrition bypasses the normal digestion in the bowel and stomach. Infants and children, as well as adults may receive parenteral nutrition. Many times, parenteral nutrition is only temporary and can be removed once a person is able to resume normal eating. nutrisup2

What is a Nutrition Support Professional?

Nutrition Support Professionals (NSP) are Registered Dietitians and Physicians who are knowledgeable in providing and managing enteral and parenteral nutrition. The NSP can work in a variety of settings such as hospitals, private practice groups, long-term care facilities, and home care agencies. The primary goal of the Registered Dietitian is to assess the individual nutritional needs and implement the nutrition care plan. Frequent monitoring and follow-up is important in order to assist with the infusion of enteral/parenteral nutrition support as well as develop a transitional feeding plan once nutrition support is no longer needed.

Visit the American Society for Pareneteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.) at
www.nutritioncare.org for additional information regarding nutrition support