Glossary Entry: Total Parenteral Nutrition Catheter


Definition: A total parenteral nutrition catheter is a medical device used to deliver nutrients, including carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, electrolytes, and trace elements, directly into the bloodstream when the digestive system is unable to absorb adequate nutrition.

Detailed Description

Types and Variations

Variations: Total parenteral nutrition catheters may come in different sizes and materials, with variations in the number of lumens for delivering different types of nutrients.


Common Uses: This device is commonly used in patients with severe gastrointestinal dysfunction, malabsorption syndromes, short bowel syndrome, and other conditions where enteral feeding is not feasible or sufficient.

Insertion and Placement

Procedure: The insertion and placement of a total parenteral nutrition catheter require careful attention to prevent complications such as infection. Aseptic techniques and proper placement verification are crucial for ensuring the safety and efficacy of the device.

Clinical Considerations

Potential Complications

Risks: Potential complications associated with total parenteral nutrition catheters include infection, thrombosis, catheter blockage, and metabolic disturbances related to the infusion of nutrients.

Care and Maintenance

Maintenance Requirements: Regular flushing and dressing changes are essential for maintaining the patency and integrity of the catheter. Proper monitoring of electrolyte and glucose levels is also crucial for preventing complications.

Additional Information

Related Devices

Associated Terms: Infusion pumps, catheter extension sets, and needleless connectors are often used in conjunction with total parenteral nutrition catheters.

Innovations and Advancements

Recent Developments: Recent advancements in catheter materials and catheter securement devices have enhanced the safety and comfort of total parenteral nutrition catheters.

Regulatory and Safety Notes

Regulations: Proper training and adherence to evidence-based guidelines for total parenteral nutrition catheter placement and management are essential for ensuring patient safety and regulatory compliance.