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Nutrition in Clinical Practice

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Parenteral nutrition (PN) serves as an important therapeutic modality that is used in adults, children, and infants for a variety of indications. The appropriate use of this complex therapy aims to maximize clinical benefit while minimizing the potential risk for adverse events. Despite being classified and acknowledged as a high-alert medication,1 only 58% of organizations have precautions in place to prevent errors and patient harm associated with PN.2 Complications can occur as a result of the therapy and as the result of the PN process. The American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.) Parenteral Nutrition Safety Consensus Recommendations are based on practices that are generally accepted to minimize errors with PN therapy. However, the broad range of healthcare settings in which PN administration occurs—from critical care to home care—raises the potential for disparities to exist in the knowledge and skills of the healthcare professionals responsible for PN prescribing, review, preparation (including compounding, labeling, and dispensing), and administration. Regardless of the setting or the number of patients treated in a given facility, the classification of PN as a high-alert medication requires all healthcare organizations to develop evidence-based policies and procedures related to PN. With these concepts in mind, the A.S.P.E.N. Parenteral Nutrition Safety Task Force developed the A.S.P.E.N. Parenteral Nutrition Safety Consensus Recommendations, available online in the Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (JPEN) in late 2013 and published in March …


This is a post-print version of an article originally published in Nutrition in Clinical Practice, 2014, Volume 29, Issue 3.

The version of record is available through: Sage.