Position paper “Addressing the nutritional emergency of preterm birth – Optimal practice in neonatal parenteral nutrition”
Neonatal parenteral nutrition
Adequate nutritional intakes – especially during the first 1000 days of life – are essential for promoting growth and health, including long-term metabolic, cognitive and neurodevelopmental outcomes.
For babies born preterm who take some time to establish enteral intakes, parenteral nutrition provides the only alternative method that allows meeting nutrient requirements. Parenteral nutrition is also needed in babies with illnesses affecting the digestive tract (e.g. congenital or acquired gut disorder like necrotising enterocolitis (NEC)). Parenteral nutrition is a feeding method that bypasses the digestive tract by delivering nutrients directly to the bloodstream. This is a bit similar to the feeding of unborn through the umbilical cord. Although not the ideal source of nutrition for babies and including associated risks, parenteral nutrition is vital especially for very preterm and critically ill babies and allows for adequate growth and development.
Roundtable and position paper
Several experts from various countries came together for the international EFCNI roundtable on parenteral nutrition in Munich on the 4th of July 2018. During this roundtable, the content of the position paper “Addressing the nutritional emergency of preterm birth – Optimal practice in neonatal parenteral nutrition” was developed highlighting the importance of parenteral nutrition as a life-saving treatment for very preterm and ill babies. Based on this fruitful discussion and constructive exchange of views and ideas, the position paper was developed by EFCNI together with the expert panel during the last months and is launched in Maastricht during the jENS congress this year! The position paper is intended to serve as a supplement to, and a driving force for the development and implementation of guidelines on a national level based on the newly revised European ESPGHAN/ESPEN/ESPR/CSPEN guidelines (see also our social media series below). It primarily targets policy makers and hospital administrators but can also be used as a tool by parent representatives and healthcare professionals to convince decision-making bodies to support delivery of appropriate, high-quality parenteral nutrition.
As a next step to the parenteral nutrition position paper, a German-speaking roundtable will be hosted to develop a practical handbook for healthcare professionals based on the position paper. The aim will be to improve the situation of parenteral nutrition in hospitals who take care of preterm and ill babies on a national level.
There will be regular updates of this page, so come back later to find out the newest developments in this topic.
Members of the expert project for the topic neonatal parenteral nutrition (in alphabetic order)
Professor Virgilio Carnielli, Professor Magnus Domellöf, Katarina Eglin, Professor Nicholas Embleton, Harald Erdmann, Professor Christoph Fusch, Professor Nadja Haiden, Professor Egbert Herting, Dr Martina Kohl, Professor Berthold Koletzko, Professor Alexandre Lapillonne, Dr Helen Mactier, Dr Sissel Moltu, Livia Nagy-Bonnard, Dr Mattias Paulsson, Dr Miguel Sáenz de Pipaón, Professor Manuel Sánchez Luna, Stephen Tomlin, Professor Hans van Goudoever
Interview with Professor Nadja Haiden
Professor Nadja Haiden, MD. MSc. is head of the Neonatal Nutrition Research Team of the Medical University of Vienna, Austria.
In this interview she explains:
- The process of parenteral feeding
- Its benefits and possible challanges
- How to include parents in the feeding process
Factsheet "Parenteral nutrition": All you need to know about parenteral nutrition (PN) at a glance
For a quick overview and insights on parenteral nutrition, download our factsheet! Here you can learn e.g. which group of children require parenteral nutrition, how it is administered, how parenteral nutrition is composed and which benefits and risks may come with parenteral feeding. The factsheet is available in English and German.
ESPGHAN Guidelines Series
We warmly thank the following healthcare societies and organisations for supporting the position paper on parenteral nutrition (in alphabetical order):
We warmly thank the following parent organisations for supporting the position paper on parenteral nutrition (in alphabetical order):
The roundtable and the position paper are kindly supported by an educational grant by Baxter.