The Home Parenteral Nutrition Program at Boston Children’s Hospital takes a family centered approach to treating infants, children, and adolescents who require intravenous (IV) or parenteral nutrition (PN) and hydration support at home.
From the first visit, we make sure you know what each team member brings to the table and help you understand the underlying medical or surgical reasons for why your child needs PN.
What is home parenteral nutrition?
For various reasons, the intestines of some children are unable to digest food and provide the nutrition needed to live and grow. PN is a method of providing this nutrition intravenously through a central or PICC line when a child cannot take food by mouth or by enterally (through a feeding tube). The nutrients bypass the normal digestive system and enter the child directly through a thin tube inserted into a vein.
Our goal is to improve the quality of life for children and families, while at the same time helping to improve their nutritional status and overall function. Although complex, with proper care management and close collaboration between your child’s care providers, we aim to provide comprehensive care outside the hospital, addressing all of your child’s needs.
Our expertise in parenteral nutrition
Established in 1981, our program is one of the top centers of its kind in the world. We have taken care of hundreds of infants, children, and adolescents and played a key role in setting standards of excellence in the field.
Our team brings together specialists in the care of children on IV nutrition, including gastroenterologists, pediatric nurses, pediatric nurse practitioners, an intestinal-failure dietitian, and dedicated parenteral-nutrition pharmacists.
Because we specialize in the care of children, have long experience in supporting children on parenteral nutrition in a home setting, and can draw on the knowledge of experts across our institution, we can help you access services that address and help to prevent the major complications associated with parenteral nutrition.
Services provided by the Home Parenteral Nutrition Program
We work closely with Boston Children's Center for Advanced Intestinal Rehabilitation (CAIR), Motility and Gastrointestinal Disorders Center, Intestine and Multivisceral Transplant Program, the Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, and other centers and programs to offer a comprehensive set of services for children on home parenteral nutrition and their families and caregivers, including:
- expertise in rare nutritional disorders (such as short bowel syndrome, necrotizing entercolitis), intestinal atresias, Hirschsprung's disease), intestinal dysmotility, congenital diarrhea or enteropathy (like microvillus inclusion disease and tufting enteropathy), and mitochondrial disorders
- on-call telephone consultation availability with program staff 24/7
- extensive discharge teaching for families initially discharged with PN
- live telehealth consultations with Program medical staff
- innovative intravenous (IV) lipid strategies, including SMOFlipid® and Omegaven®
- years of experience with strategies for central-line infection prevention, including 70 percent ethanol locks
- intravenous (IV) iron therapy to reduce or prevent the need for blood transfusions
We offer dedicated outpatient visits every Monday afternoon on the fifth floor of the hospital’s Fegan Building. We also provide consultations in conjunction as part of the CAIR program every Thursday afternoon on Fegan 3.