Hi it’s Patrik Hutzel from INTENSIVE CARE AT HOME where we provide tailor made solutions for long-term ventilated Adults & Children with Tracheostomies and otherwise medically complex patients whilst providing quality care and where we also provide tailor made solutions for hospitals and Intensive Care Units to save money and resources and where we provide win-win situations for all of our stakeholders and clients.
So in last week’s blog, I talked about
You can check out last week’s blog by clicking on the link below this video
In today’s blog, I want to focus a little more on home TPN or about TPN in general and today’s episode in the blog is
What is the Requirement for Intensive Care Nursing Staff at Home for Home TPN?
So, we are certainly learning with intensive care at home that there’s an increased demand for patients or clients on home TPN or PN.
Now, for those of you who haven’t heard of TPN, TPN stands for total parenteral nutrition, and it’s basically intravenous nutrition, and it’s often given for people with conditions such as gastroparesis, or simply an inability to digest nutrition, gastric cancer or they might have had a Whipples procedure or other conditions that lead to the inability to take in oral or PEG feeds and they need total parenteral nutrition or TPN.
PN stands for parenteral nutrition. The difference between TPN and PN is simply that if clients get TPN their only form of nutrition is TPN and when the reference is made to PN or parenteral nutrition, clients have other forms of nutrition also.
So then the question is, can clients on TPN or PN go home?
Yes of course absolutely.
Think about it, if ventilated and tracheostomy patients can go home with intensive care at home, then clients requiring TPN can definitely go home.
We have certainly looked after patients at home on TPN. And the way we do this is basically by liaising with the hospitals to get those patients home. We are often liaising with the gastroenterology team or with dieticians, nutritionists, etc…
So what is actually needed to get a patient home on home TPN? Well, the patients or clients need a PICC line or a central line which is a device that enables patients to receive TPN or total parental nutrition.
They can’t have it through a ‘normal’ IV cannula. It needs to be given through a PICC line or a central line or a CVC catheter. And that is also why patients on home TPN need intensive care nurses because looking after a PICC line, central line, as well as TPN is a very specialized skill that usually only ICU nurses have or critical care nurses have because to access the central line catheter or the PICC line needs to be done sterile.
Central lines (CVC’s) or PICC lines are rarely being used outside of intensive Care Units, therefore it is a skill that mainly ICU/PICU nurses have.
A central line (CVC) needs to be flushed in a sterile way to keep the PICC line or central line patent, clean, and free from infection. Also when TPN is being prepared and connected to the patient again, that needs to be done in a sterile manner and people that have worked in the intensive care have that specialist training and skill.
Now next, when someone is on TPN through an infusion pump, the pump may alarm quite frequently actually because TPN is actually known to have frequent air alarms.
So even if there’s only a micro bubble of air in the IV giving set, the infusion pump frequently alarms and the ICU nurse then needs to make sure that the infusion giving set is free of air, so that there’s no air going into the patient’s vein, of course, because that could be really detrimental for a patient’s safety, could potentially cause an air embolus and so forth.
So therefore for the period of time that a client is receiving home TPN which is often up to 24 hours a day, an intensive care nurse needs to be present to manage the TPN, manage the pump and manage any alarms that may come up.
This is something that can’t be done by general nurse, or can’t be done let alone by a support worker. So therefore a service like intensive care at home is really the only specialized service that can provide that type of service in home so that clients can leave hospital and not stay in intensive care or in a hospital for longer than necessary.
It reduces the cost of course, it frees up hospital ICU beds and of course it improves the quality of life for clients and their families because they can be at home which is where they want to be.
There is also an increased falls risk when clients are on TPN or PN because of the attachment of the TPN/PN to an infusion pump and drip stand. This is cumbersome for mobile clients because the drip stand needs to be moved around as well.
So I hope that helps. That is my blog for today.
Now, if you have a loved one in intensive care and you want to go home with our service intensive care at home and if you want to find out how to get funding for our service and how it all works, please contact us on one of the numbers on the top of our website, or send me an email to [email protected] That’s Patrik, just with a K at the end.
Please also have a look at our case studies because there we highlight more about what we can do for clients, how clients can live at home with ventilation and tracheostomies and you can look at our case studies as well at our service section
And if you are at home already and you need support for your critically ill loved one at home, and you have insufficient support or insufficient funding, please contact us as well. We can help you with all of that.
And if you are an intensive care nurse or a pediatric intensive care nurse with a minimum of two years, ICU or pediatric ICU experience, and you ideally have a critical care certificate, please contact us as well. Check out our career section on our website. We are currently hiring ICU and pediatric ICU nurses for clients in the Melbourne metropolitan area, Northern suburbs, Mornington Peninsula, Frankston area, South Gippsland, as well as Wollongong in New South Wales.
So we are also an NDIS, TAC (Victoria) and DVA (Department of Veteran affairs) approved community service provider in Australia. Also have a look at our range of full service provisions.
Also, we have been part of the Royal Melbourne health accelerator program in the past for innovative healthcare companies.
Thank you for watching this video and thank you for tuning into this week’s blog.
This is Patrik from intensive care at home, and I’ll see you again next week in another update.