A Retrospective Descriptive Study of Stat TPN Orders in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Keywords:neonates, total parenteral nutrition, neonatal intensive care, electrolyte balance
AbstractBACKGROUND: Total parenteral nutrition (TPN) is used in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) to meet metabolic demand and provide growth. To prevent harm from critical laboratory abnormalities, stat TPNs can be ordered urgently to change the content of infusing TPN. Each stat order breaks the daily cycle and often leads to additional stat orders. Limited supplies of ingredients brought focus on our liberal stat TPN policy and how to reduce the number of stat TPNs safely. The purpose of this project was to evaluate biochemical abnormalities associated with stat TPNs and identify leverage points to reduce stat TPNs in NICU patients. METHODS: Data from 1/1/10 to 6/30/10 were abstracted from Meditech, NeoData, and patient charts for NICU stat TPN orders. Demographics, laboratory results (sodium, potassium, calcium, and glucose), and key variables were gathered and critical laboratory values were identified. RESULTS: A total of 112 patients had evaluable orders for 255 stat TPNs. Mean gestation was 31 weeks (SD = 5) and birth weight was 1.744 kg (SD = 0.993). Seven (3%) were never infused. Twenty (12.6%) of first stat TPNs were from patients taking nothing by mouth. Eighty-eight of first stat TPNs had no critical labs (55% of initial stat TPNs). Of follow-up stat orders, 43% (38/89) followed unnecessary initial stat TPNs. Of the 55 abnormalities that generated the initial stat TPNs, 44 (80%) corrected. CONCLUSIONS: Fifty-two percent of stat TPNs could not be justified. For situations that were justified, 20% of laboratory abnormalities from initial stat TPNs were not corrected. These data provide an opportunity to reduce unnecessary costs and save limited resources.
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