Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Parenteral nutrition is given inappropriately in almost a third of adult cases, report says

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 24 June 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c3267

Rapid Response:

Total parenteral nutrition is a lot of work

Total parenteral nutrition is a lot of work. Patients require
regular monitoring of electrolytes and other blood markers.
Central lines are needed for all but very short term use.
Liaison with nursing staff and dietetics is essential. It is
difficult for all involved but it can be an important bridge
for those with temporary problems affecting the gut and a life
line for those with permanent problems. To read that it is
used inappropriately is worrying and thankfully not my
experience. Like many problems in healthcare education is the
key. Basic training, perhaps in the form of a BMJ learning
module, in this key area would be welcomed by junior doctors
involved in the care of patients requiring this treatment.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

29 June 2010
D Darbyshire
FY1 Doctor
Royal Bolton Hospital, BL4 0JR