Parenteral nutrition is one of the most important therapeutic modalities invented in the last several decades. Since its introduction in the 1960s, this modality has saved thousands of lives by providing nutrients parenterally to sustain growth in premature neonates with severe intestinal immaturity and other pediatric patients with intestinal failure, such as a gastrointestinal fistula or short bowel syndrome. Although parenteral nutrition can be a lifesaving treatment, it is not benign. Many complications can result from either short- or long-term usage. This review discusses the nutritional requirements, common complications, medication additives, and special considerations for pediatric patients requiring parenteral nutrition.
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©2012 American Association of Critical-Care Nurses