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Patient Information

When a person is on Home Parenteral Nutrition (HPN), they have the freedom they would otherwise not have if required to stay in the hospital. HPN consumers have the ability to go out and do things - even while their nutrition is infusing.

Many HPN consumers experience an improved quality of life once they have started on the Program, as their nutrition and energy levels improve.

There are challenges associated with HPN but most consumers find them manageable. The following are some things to consider:

Time

When consumers have completed their training at St. Paul’s Hospital and are discharged home, they spend about 1.5 to 2 hours per day caring for their central venous catheter (CVC), getting their solution ready to infuse, hooking up to the solution, maintaining their infusion pump and unhooking from the HPN solution. Once newly trained consumers become more experienced, the amount of time spent per day on their HPN care decreases. Practice makes perfect!

Usually, consumers are “hooked up” to their infusion pump for about 14 hours each day. Some consumers may need to be hooked up for longer, depending on their nutrient and hydration needs.

Most consumers choose to infuse their solutions overnight so that they can be independent during the day.

Space

HPN requires enough space to keep a lot of supplies and to have a sterile environment. Consumers need space for an extra fridge to store their HPN solutions.

Physical Strength

The HPN solutions and equipment are heavy. Consumers on the Program need to be able to lift and move the solutions or have someone at home to help them complete this task.

Ordering

Consumers are responsible for ordering their solutions and supplies from our supplier, Calea. Call 604-294-1500 ext. 5 to place an order. Calea ships the solutions and supplies direct to the consumer, usually every 2 weeks. Calea requires 5-7 business days for an order to be processed and delivered anywhere in BC.

Complications/Problems

HPN is not without risks. Consumers must learn what those risks are, how to prevent them and how to spot them early so they can get treated. Some of the complications can be life threatening if not treated in time.

Please see HPN Troubleshooting for more information about complications.

Program Training Manuals

More information about HPN can be found in the various BC HPN Program training manuals for adult patients. Each manual is specific to the type of central venous catheter (CVC) a consumer has:

Tunneled Groshong
Tunneled Hickman
PICC
Implanted Groshong
Implanted Open-Ended

Ongoing Care for Patients

Consumers have regular blood work done to monitor the appropriateness of their HPN prescription.

Adult consumers travel to St. Paul’s Hospital at least once a year to attend the HPN Clinic. At these follow-up appointments, a consumer is assessed by the physician, nurse and dietitian. This includes a review of blood work, current HPN prescription, tolerance to HPN and an assessment of the central venous catheter.

The BC HPN Program supports all aspects of care directly related to use of HPN. The patient’s primary doctor or specialist continues to manage all underlying medical conditions and any medical concerns not related to HPN.

The BC HPN Program team is accessible during standard business hours and is available to assist with HPN-related care issues that cannot be resolved by a patient’s primary doctor or their local hospital.

Please visit the Contact Us page for information on how to reach the BC HPN Program team. Please see the attached Patient Information Brochure for more information.

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