Early Antibiotics & Fluids Key in Sepsis Management

Sepsis and septic shock are medical emergencies that require immediate action | Anesthesiology News

Early resuscitation should begin with early antibiotics and fluids, as well as the identification of the source of infection, according to new guidelines that were released at the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s (SCCM) 2017 Critical Care Congress.

In addition, the new guidelines say a health care provider who is trained and skilled in the management of sepsis should reassess the patient frequently at the bedside. “It is not the initial assessment, but the frequent reassessment that will make a difference,” said Andrew Rhodes, MD, FRCP, FRCA, FFICM, the co-chair of the guidelines committee.

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Fluid resuscitation management in patients with burns: update

Guilabert, P. et al. (2016) British Journal of Anaesthesia. 117 (3). pp.284-296.

Image source: LeoCarbajal – Wikipedia // CC BY-SA 3.0

Since 1968, when Baxter and Shires developed the Parkland formula, little progress has been made in the field of fluid therapy for burn resuscitation, despite advances in haemodynamic monitoring, establishment of the ‘goal-directed therapy’ concept, and the development of new colloid and crystalloid solutions.

Burn patients receive a larger amount of fluids in the first hours than any other trauma patients. Initial resuscitation is based on crystalloids because of the increased capillary permeability occurring during the first 24 h. After that time, some colloids, but not all, are accepted. Since the emergence of the Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee alert from the European Medicines Agency concerning hydroxyethyl starches, solutions containing this component are not recommended for burns. But the question is: what do we really know about fluid resuscitation in burns?

To provide an answer, we carried out a non-systematic review to clarify how to quantify the amount of fluids needed, what the current evidence says about the available solutions, and which solution is the most appropriate for burn patients based on the available knowledge.

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The half-life of infusion fluids: An educational review.

Hahn, R. G. & Lyons, G. European Journal of Anaesthesiology. Published online 20 April 2016.

An understanding of the half-life (T1/2) of infused fluids can help prevent iatrogenic problems such as volume overload and postoperative interstitial oedema. Simulations show that a prolongation of the T1/2 for crystalloid fluid increases the plasma volume and promotes accumulation of fluid in the interstitial fluid space. The T1/2 for crystalloids is usually 20 to 40 min in conscious humans but might extend to 80 min or longer in the presence of preoperative stress, dehydration, blood loss of <1 l or pregnancy.

The longest T1/2 measured amounts to between 3 and 8 h and occurs during surgery and general anaesthesia with mechanical ventilation. This situation lasts as long as the anaesthesia. The mechanisms for the long T1/2 are only partly understood, but involve adrenergic receptors and increased renin and aldosterone release. In contrast, the T1/2 during the postoperative period is usually short, about 15 to 20 min, at least in response to new fluid.

The commonly used colloid fluids have an intravascular persistence T1/2 of 2 to 3 h, which is shortened by inflammation. The fact that the elimination T1/2 of the infused macromolecules is 2 to 6 times longer shows that they also reside outside the bloodstream. With a colloid, fluid volume is eliminated in line with its intravascular persistence, but there is insufficient data to know if this is the same in the clinical setting.

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