What is up with the smell of TPN?

  1. Working in the ICU, I encounter many patients who have TPN. I swear there is a very distinct smell in these patients' rooms. I remember someone commenting on the smell of TPN, so I think that's what it is...but what about it makes it so stinky? TPN flatus? Seriously, I have no idea...
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    About Stearnsy

    Joined: Sep '08; Posts: 37; Likes: 7
    RN, CCRN; from US
    Specialty: 6 year(s) of experience in CVICU


  3. by   Fiona59
    I work on a unit that usually has at least 5 TPN patients at a time. Never noticed a smel from the it. From their ostomies, rectal cancers, gangrene yes, TPN no.

    Is it the same smell in every room?
  4. by   melmarie23
    TPN has a very distinct smell. At least it did to me when I hung/changed the bag for a few patients I had last semester. I think it smells much like infant formula, but stronger.
  5. by   Pat_Pat RN
    Have you ever smelled Rocephin up close? Reminds me of cat pee. In fact, I think that is what it is, bottled cat pee.....
  6. by   Fiona59
    Think colo-rectal cancers. Our sense of smell or rather lack of it, is the talk of our hospital. Nobody I work with has ever commented on the smell of Travisol.

    We found this thread kind of funny.
  7. by   Nurse_Diane
    what you are smelling from the TPN is aminosyn.. (a type of amino acid). YUMMY!!
  8. by   carolinapooh
    See, I've always thought some cancers have a smell. With some of my patients, there's a distinct smell in the room - and inevitably they're eaten up with CA. Especially the ones that have it on their breath; when you can smell it, they don't have long left. And everyone on my floor talks about it.

    Funny, though, poo has to be fairly rank for me to smell it....

    YES - TPN stinks. I think it's the protein content.