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Learning More About Parenteral Nutrition

Expert opinions on the importance of parenteral nutrition

During the annual congress of the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN), several experts were interviewed to gather their insights into the subject of parenteral nutrition. They explained the function of parenteral nutrition and how it is administered, as well as pointed out its benefits when nourishing a patient. Parenteral nutrition allows that total nutrient intake provides the sufficient nutrients and energy to meet the patient’s needs. Some of the experts that provided thoughts on the subject are:

  • Dr. Roger Enrique Riofrio: general surgeon at the Central University of Ecuador
  • Dr. Karin Papapietro: physician and surgeon at the Faculty of Medicine in the University of Chile

The ESPEN Congress is a yearly convention that covers several topics in the fields of parenteral and enteral nutrition and recently gathered more than 3,000 participants from 82 different countries worldwide. In September 2015, Lisbon held the annual ESPEN Congress, in which a series of interviews were conducted with well-known experts from Latin America. Below you will find videos and more insights into these experts’ thoughts and ideas.

What is parenteral nutrition and what role does in play in fighting malnutrition?

Dr. Roger Enrique Riofrio:
Nutrition needs to be perceived in a different way. Providing nutrition doesn’t necessarily mean feeding people food, and this is a perception that must change.

In the intensive care unit, we expect to see patients in critical states who do not improve quickly with nutrition because his or her system is slowing down or is having complications. With these types of patients, we cannot proceed in a fast manner, but rather employ a combination of enteral and parenteral therapies. To administer enteral nutrition is complex. Parenteral nutrition is simpler. It goes directly to the vein and you don’t have to worry about so many things as you do with enteral nutrition – firstly intolerances, and secondly, interruptions because exams have to be performed on patients. With parenteral nutrition, nutrition targets can be met within 24 or 48 hours.

Dr. Karin Papapietro
Complementary parenteral nutrition is a tool that gives us the opportunity to closely meet a patient’s nutritional needs in the intensive care unit. Often, these patients have some digestive intolerance and, in some cases, we are not able to provide the right amount of nutrients based on their needs. In that instance, the proper use of complementary parenteral nutrition allows us to meet those needs.

Dr. Roger Enrique Riofrio interview where he provides insights into Parenteral Nutrition

Dr. Karin Papapietro interview where she provides insights into Parenteral Nutrition