Parenteral Nutrition Down Under

What is IF and PN?

Intestinal Failure (IF) occurs when there is a problem with someone's digestive system, so that essential nutrients are not absorbed properly.

Parenteral Nutrition (PN) is food in a liquid form which is delivered via a catheter in a vein close to the heart, because there is a problem with the digestive system. The nutrients are in a bag of sterile solution which is infused through the intravenous catheter. All connections and procedures must be aseptic, to minimize infection risk from bacteria entering the bloodstream, but feeding can be done safely at home and is called Home Parenteral Nutrition (HPN).

Various diseases and medical conditions fall under the umbrella of Intestinal Failure requiring someone to receive Parenteral Nutrition, a number of these diseases being quite rare.  They include: Gastroparesis, Chronic Intestinal Pseudo Obstruction, Hirschsprungs Disease, Hollow Viscous Myopathy, Malrotation Volvulus, Digestive Tract Paralysis, Gastrointestinal Sarcoidosis, Short Bowel Syndrome, Crohns Disease, radiation enteritis, necrotizing enterocolitis, adult intestinal cancers (including ovarian cancer) and surgical misadventures.