Popup Image

Total parenteral nutrition


Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) for Neonates

Introduction to Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN)

Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) is a specialized form of nutrition that provides essential nutrients directly into the bloodstream for neonates who cannot tolerate or absorb adequate nutrition through the gastrointestinal tract. Neonates requiring TPN are often premature or critically ill, and their nutritional needs are met intravenously.

At Borneo Hospital in Thane, we understand the critical importance of providing optimal care to our neonatal patients, particularly regarding their nutritional needs. For newborns who are unable to obtain adequate nutrition through oral intake, we employ the advanced technique of Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN). 

Indications for Total Parenteral Nutrition in Neonates

TPN is indicated for neonates who cannot consume or tolerate enteral feeds. 

Common reasons include:

  • Gastrointestinal disorders, 
  • Malabsorption syndromes, 
  • Congenital anomalies, 
  • Gastrointestinal surgery, 
  • Necrotizing enterocolitis,
  • Extremely low birth weight. 

It is essential to initiate TPN when enteral feeding is insufficient or contraindicated to prevent malnutrition and promote growth and development.

Components and Formulation of TPN Solutions

  • Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) solution is customized to meet the specific nutritional needs of each neonate.
  • The components of the TPN solution include carbohydrates (glucose), proteins (amino acids), lipids (fats), electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals.
  • The composition and concentration of these components are carefully adjusted based on factors such as the neonate's age, weight, clinical condition, and metabolic requirements.
  • Carbohydrates provide energy in the form of glucose to support the neonate's growth and metabolic processes.
  • Proteins (amino acids) are essential for tissue growth, repair, and immune function in neonates.
  • Lipids (fats) provide a concentrated energy source and help with brain development and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.
  • Electrolytes are necessary for maintaining fluid balance, nerve function, and muscle contractions.
  • Vitamins and minerals are crucial for various physiological processes and ensure the neonate's overall health and development.
  • The formulation of the TPN solution is adjusted based on ongoing monitoring and assessment of the neonate's nutritional needs.

TPN in Neonates procedure

The procedure for TPN in neonates typically involves the following steps:

  • A central line is inserted into a vein in the baby's chest or neck. This line will be used to deliver the TPN solution.
  • A pharmacist prepares the TPN solution. The solution contains all the essential nutrients that the baby needs, including carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals.
  • A pump infuses The TPN solution into the baby's central line. The infusion rate is carefully controlled to ensure the baby does not receive too much or too little nutrition.
  • The baby's blood is monitored regularly for signs of infection or other complications.
  • The TPN solution is typically changed every 24 hours.

Advantages of TPN in Neonates

There are several advantages to using TPN in neonates:

  • It can provide a complete and balanced diet, including all the essential nutrients babies need to grow and develop.
  • It can be delivered at a consistent rate, which helps to ensure that babies are getting the nutrients they need.
  • It can be given even if babies have gastrointestinal problems that prevent them from receiving enteral feedings.
  • It can provide extra calories and nutrients to babies not growing well.

Transitioning from TPN to Enteral Feeding

The ultimate goal in neonatal TPN is to transition the neonate to enteral feeding as soon as possible. As the neonate's gastrointestinal function improves, enteral feeds are introduced gradually while adjusting the TPN infusion rate. 

This transition helps restore gut function, promotes oral feeding skills, and reduces the risks associated with long-term TPN use.

Special Considerations and Safety Measures

Special care is required when administering TPN to neonates. Strict aseptic techniques must be followed during catheter insertion and maintenance to prevent infections. 

Close monitoring of fluid balance, blood glucose levels, electrolytes, liver function, and growth parameters is essential. Regular collaboration among the healthcare team, including neonatologists, nurses, pharmacists, and dietitians, ensures safe and effective TPN administration.

At Borneo Hospital, an experienced neonatal healthcare team is specialized in providing personalized care to premature infants receiving TPN, ensuring their nutritional needs are met while supporting their growth and well-being.

Our Consultants

Dr. Anurag Gupta

Speciality: Neonatology

Designation: Consultant Neonatalogist


Dr. Niteen N. Madrewar

Speciality: Neonatology

Designation: Neonatologist


Dr. Digambar Tendulkar

Speciality: Neonatology

Designation: Neonatologist


WhatsApp here