Editor’s Spot: Overcoming Nutrition Support Challenges
By Judith Riddle
Today’s Dietitian
Vol. 25 No. 4 P. 6

Clinical dietitians who work hands-on with pediatric and adult patients who require enteral nutrition (EN) and parenteral nutrition (PN) support know there are a plethora of complexities involved in providing optimal patient care, as these patients—whether hospitalized or at home—grapple with various disease states prohibiting or inhibiting oral food intake for the short term or long term.

For example, EN and PN product shortages continue due to a short supply of ingredients, components, product recalls and discontinuations, hindered supplier/manufacturer access, and systemwide shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Disposable feeding tubes, pumps and bag sets, syringes, catheters, IV poles, and other equipment needed for home administration of EN and PN also have been affected.

To cope with these shortages, dietitians and other clinicians are given resources and guidance from various health organizations for meeting nutrient requirements in pediatric and adult patients.

Dietitians will agree that these resources are much needed given the fact many hospitalized patients receiving the nutrition support they need will, at some point, transition from hospital to home care. Dietitians play a key role in the transition process and in providing a continuum of care.

In our March issue, Today’s Dietitian (TD) published “Transitioning Nutrition Care From Hospital to Home,” an article on the role RDs play in transitioning hospitalized patients requiring home EN, the challenges of patient education, and strategies to improve health outcomes.

In this issue, we focus on home PN in the article “Discharge Planning for Patients on Parenteral Nutrition” on page 22. In it, TD addresses discharge planning protocols, patient and caregiver education, insurance coverage, communication with home infusion companies, requirements for the home environment, and more.

Clinical dietitians working with patients receiving EN and PN will find these articles informative and timely, as many of you are preparing to attend ASPEN 2023 Nutrition Science & Practice Conference in Las Vegas on April 20 to April 23, where you’ll learn about the latest cutting-edge research and trends in nutrition support therapy.

Also in this issue are articles on nutrition strategies for sports injury prevention and recovery, ultraprocessed foods, integrative nutrition and fertility, diminished appetite at end of life, and cooking with tofu in honor of National Soy Foods Month.

Please enjoy the issue!

— Judith Riddle, Editor