In children with severe failure of intestinal function, intravenous nutrition is at present the only treatment able to maintain adequate nutrition for prolonged periods of time. Over the last five years we have discharged 10 patients home on parenteral nutrition for a total of 25 patient years and here the outcome of these children is presented. Of the 10 patients, one has discontinued home parenteral nutrition (HPN), seven patients remain well, one patient has recently moved to the USA, and one patient has died after major abdominal surgery. All children had either normal or an accelerated rate of growth on HPN and developmentally all have progressed well. All the children over 5 years attend normal schools. The major complication of treatment was line sepsis with an overall rate of one episode in 476 days and a total of nine central lines (five patients) have required replacement giving an average line life of 680 days. For those children unfortunate enough to suffer from severe intestinal failure, HPN is preferable to prolonged hospital treatment and offers the chance of a good quality of life with prolonged survival.
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