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IV Nutrition For The Critically Ill Must Not Be Given Too Early
Default news teaser image Total Parental Nutrition, when used too early, has been shown to increase the amount of time it takes for a critically ill patient to recover.
Critically ill patients receive intravenous nutrition - via an infusion in a large vein - when nutrition via a stomach or intestinal tube is insufficient. There is international dispute over the correct timing of intravenous nutrition: European guidelines recommend administering intravenous nutrition within 48 hours to prevent malnutrition. In the United States and Canada, intravenous nutrition is administered after 8 days because it also has disadvantages, such as increased blood sugar levels. Because the food is administered directly into the blood, there is no natural reflex to balance the blood sugar level. Increased blood sugar levels damage cells in critically ill patients. 

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According to professor Van den Berghe, this is due to the suppression of a cell process called autophagy.

For Nurses wanting to learn more on the administration of TPN, Pedagogy has the course. Total Parenteral Nutrition in the Adult Patient. Click the course title to view the course curriculum.
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