Journal Article
Randomized Controlled Trial
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
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Rapid fluid resuscitation in pediatrics: testing the American College of Critical Care Medicine guideline.

STUDY OBJECTIVE: The 2002 American College of Critical Care Medicine (ACCM) guidelines for the resuscitation of pediatric septic shock suggest that 20 mL/kg of bolus intravenous fluid be given within 5 minutes. Of 3 commonly used, inexpensive methods of fluid delivery, we hypothesized that only use of a manual push-pull system will permit guideline adherence.

METHODS: This prospective, interventional study was open to children in the Columbus Children's Hospital Emergency Department who were ordered a 20 mL/kg nonemergent fluid bolus by their treating physician. Subjects were randomized to receive the fluid for 5 minutes by a pressure bag maintained at 300 mm Hg, by a manual push-pull system, or by gravity. Volume of fluid delivered, absolute rates of fluid delivery, and adherence to the ACCM guideline were recorded. Statistical analysis was done with both parametric and nonparametric methods.

RESULTS: Sixty children were enrolled, with 57 included in data analysis. Median volumes of fluid delivered in the study period were 20.9 mL/kg (pressure bag), 20.2 mL/kg (push-pull), and 6.2 mL/kg (gravity) (P<.0001). The ACCM guideline was met in 58% of the pressure bag group, 68% of the push-pull group, and none of the gravity group. No children weighing greater than 40 kg met the guideline in any of the groups.

CONCLUSION: The ACCM guideline for rapid fluid resuscitation is feasible for many children, especially those weighing less than 40 kg. Contrary to our hypothesis, the use of a pressure bag and a manual push-pull system both appear to be acceptable methods of rapid fluid delivery. Administration of bolus fluid by gravity likely has a limited role in acute pediatric resuscitation.

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