Central Auckland > Public Hospital Services > Auckland District Health Board (ADHB) >

Starship Paediatric Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Public Service

Intestinal Failure

Children who have intestinal failure are unable to take food normally either because their bowel is not working properly or because they do not have enough bowel because they have had some removed (short bowel syndrome). Some of these children can take some food via the normal route but are unable to absorb enough food and nutrients to allow them to grow and thrive. When this happens artificial nutrition may be given into a vein. We call this intravenous nutrition or IVN. Some other places call it total parenteral nutrition (TPN or PN). Children with intestinal failure are seen at Starship for assessment and to create a treatment plan to maximise the rehabilitation of the remaining bowel, allowing them to eventually feed normally. Some children are born with problems in the way their intestine absorbs food or in the way the food is moved along the intestine. These children may require IVN for their whole life and will therefore be managed mainly by the Paediatric Gastroenterology and Hepatology Service at Starship Hospital.

This page was last updated at 3:37PM on September 4, 2018.