A Nutrition Support Team Led by General Surgeons Decreases Inappropriate Use of Total Parenteral Nutrition on a Surgical Service

Saalwachter, A. R.; Evans, H. L.; Willcutts, K. F.; O'Donnell, K. B.; Radigan, A. E.; McElearney, S. T.; Smith, R. L.; Chong, T. W.; Schirmer, B. D.; Pruett, T. L.; Sawyer, R. G.
December 2004
American Surgeon;Dec2004, Vol. 70 Issue 12, p1107
Academic Journal
The purpose of this study was to decrease the number of inappropriate orders for total parenteral nutrition (TPN) in surgical patients. From February 1999 through November 2000 and between July 2001 and June 2002, the surgeon-guided adult nutrition support team (NST) at a university hospital monitored new TPN orders for appropriateness and specific indication. In April 1999, the NST was given authority to discontinue inappropriate TPN orders. Indications, based on the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN) standards, included short gut, severe pancreatitis, severe malnutrition/catabolism with inability to enterally feed < 5 days, inability to enterally feed <50 per cent of nutritional needs ≥9 days, enterocutaneous fistula, intraabdominal leak, bowel obstruction, chylothorax, ischemic bowel, hemodynamic instability, massive gastrointestinal bleed, and lack of abdominal wall integrity. The number of inappropriate TPN orders declined from 62/194 (32.0%) in the first 11 months of the study to 22/168 (13.1%) in the second 11 months (P< 0.0001). This number further declined to 17/215 (7.9%) in the final 12 months of data collection, but compared to the second 11 months, this decrease was not statistically significant (P = 0.1347). The involvement of a surgical NST was associated with a reduction in inappropriate TPN orders without a change in overall use.


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