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Questions for Dr. Kennedy
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Total Parenteral Nutrition
Posted by: Jeannine
Date: April 19, 2001 12:43 AM

I am a respiratory student at Napa Valley College. I am doing a presentation on Nutrition of the mechanically ventilated patients. I have been searching for more in detailed information on this subject. Most patients who are critically ill are getting their nutrition by way of TPN. Weaning or liberating patients off the ventilator may not be as easy as it seems. Many patients fail extubation due to poor nutrition and muscle weakeness. Carbohydrates produces CO2, therefore increasing minute ventilation. Depending on the prognosis of the patient, close nutritional monitoring may aid in healing, increase muscle strength, and decrease the minute ventialtion to a more functional capacity for the indidvidual. Any suggestions?

RE: Total Parenteral Nutrition
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: May 4, 2001 10:49 AM

TPN stands for total parenteral nutrition. Parenteral means intravenous or by injection. In this case it reveres to IV. "TPN" is almost a complete oxymoron in that it is anything but total and even designating it as nutrition is questionable. True TPN could be possible, but the sad state of knowledge of allopathic medicine in the area of nutrition makes this unlikely to occur in the real world. Since nothing similar to real TPN is commercially available, it would have to be compounded by a compounding pharmacy (which is rare) from the prescription of a doc knowledgeable in nutrition (also rare). As such it would be rather expensive. But it could be done.



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