In 1978 an unofficial total parenteral nutrition service was established in a regional hospital. For simplicity, safety, and economy patients needing this form of treatment were supplied, whenever possible, with a standard feeding regimen containing 14 g of nitrogen and equicaloric amounts (4.2 MJ) of non-nitrogen calories as fat and glucose. From May 1979 to April 1982 179 patients received 190 courses of total parenteral nutrition, and 134 (70.5%) of these courses were the standard regimen throughout. A positive nitrogen balance was maintained, and complications were mostly minor. One hundred and forty patients left hospital alive. One death was related to the total parenteral nutrition. Parenteral nutrition is an effective method of nourishing selected patients and a simple standard regimen can safely provide the total nutritional requirements for the majority. The value of a nutrition team and close supervision of the feeding is emphasised
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