Parenteral nutrition: indications, risks and nursing care

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • J. Fletcher

Colleges, School and Institutes


Parenteral nutrition is a recognised method of feeding patients with specific clinical conditions, most notably those with various forms of intestinal failure who cannot be fed enterally. However, it has several associated risks including sepsis, and metabolic and electrolyte imbalances. The aim of this article is to enhance nurses’ understanding of parenteral nutrition and how this differs from oral or enteral nutrition, indications for use and the potential risks involved. Appropriate vascular access is discussed as well as the clinical monitoring that is required to ensure complications of therapy are detected quickly. A greater understanding of the issues associated with parenteral nutrition allows nurses caring for patients receiving parenteral nutrition to ensure safe and effective care.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-57
Number of pages8
JournalNursing Standard
Issue number46
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013


  • nutrition, parenteral nutrition, acute care, critical care, clinical procedures, clinical skills, intravenous therapy, IV therapy