American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.)


American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.)

The American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.) is an interdisciplinary organization whose members are involved in the provision of clinical nutrition therapies, including parenteral and enteral nutrition.

=About ASPEN=The American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.) is dedicated to improving patient care by advancing the science and practice of nutrition support therapy. Founded in 1976, A.S.P.E.N. is an interdisciplinary organization whose members are involved in the provision of clinical nutrition therapies, including parenteral and enteral nutrition. With more than 5,500 members from around the world, A.S.P.E.N. is a community of dietitians, nurses, pharmacists, physicians, scientists, students and other health professionals from every facet of nutrition support clinical practice, research and education. [Mirtallo J. A.S.P.E.N. A quarter century of commonality of purpose: presidential perspectives and insights. Clinical Congress Syllabus 2001. American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition.]

=What is Nutrition Support Therapy?=

All people need food to live. Sometimes a person cannot eat any or enough food because of an illness. The stomach or bowel may not be working quite right, or a person may have had surgery to remove part or all of these organs. Under those conditions, nutrition must be supplied in a different way.Nutrition can be provided either via tube feedings into the digestive tract (enteral nutrition) or, when the digestive tract cannot be used, via an intravenous solution into the veins (parenteral nutrition). The amount, type, and route of nutrition are tailored specifically to each patient with the goal being to improve patient outcomes, minimize infections, and allow patients to live their lives as normally as possible. Patients can receive these therapies in the hospital, at home, or in rehabilitation or long-term care facilities.Nutrition Support Professionals work in a variety of settings including hospitals, home care agencies, long-term care facilities, research, and academia. They include dietitians, pharmacists, nurses, and physicians and may work either independently or as part of a Nutrition Support Team. They are specialists in providing and managing enteral and parenteral nutrition in diverse patient populations from pediatrics to geriatrics.

=Key Terms=

Nutrition Support Therapy

The provision of oral, enteral or parenteral nutrients to treat or prevent malnutrition. This includes, but is not limited to, provision of total enteral or parenteral nutrition support and provision of therapeutic nutrients to maintain or restore optimal nutrition status and health.

Parenteral Nutrition (PN)

Is one of the ways people receive food when they cannot eat. It is a special liquid food mixture given into the blood with a needle through a vein. The mixture contains all the protein, sugars, fat, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients needed. It was once called "total parenteral nutrition," "TPN," or "hyperalimentation." [Definitions of Terms, Style, and Conventions Used in A.S.P.E.N. Guidelines and Standards. "Nutrition in Clinical Practice" 20:281-285 April 2005]

Enteral Nutrition (EN)

Is another way people can receive the food they need. Also called "tube feeding," enteral nutrition is a mixture of all the needed nutrients. It is thicker than parenteral nutrition and sometimes it looks like a milk shake. It is given through a tube in the stomach or small intestine. ["Nutrition in Clinical Practice" 20:281-285 April 2005]

=Journals=

*Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (JPEN) [http://pen.sagepub.com/]
*Nutrition in Clinical Practice (NCP) [http://ncp.sagepub.com/]
*http://www.nutritioncare.org/

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