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Fluid resuscitation protocols for burn patients at intensive care units of the United Kingdom and Ireland

Author(s): Al-Benna, Sammy

Journal: GMS German Medical Science
ISSN 1612-3174

Volume: 9;
Start page: Doc14;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: burns | fluid resuscitation | colloids | crystalloids

Introduction: The objective of this study was to determine the thermal injury fluid resuscitation protocols at intensive care units (ICUs) in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Materials and methods: A telephone questionnaire was designed to survey the fluid resuscitation protocols of ICUs at all hospitals with plastic/burn surgery departments in the British Isles in 2010. The feedback from the questionnaire was from the senior nurse in charge of the ICUs. Results: 32/64 (50%) of these ICUs had provided care to burns patients. A 100% response from these 32 units was obtained. 71.4% commence fluid resuscitation at 15% total body surface area burn (TBSA), 21.4% at 20% TBSA and 7.1% at 10% TBSA in adults. The estimated resuscitation volume was most often calculated using the Parkland/Modified Parkland formula (87.5%) or the Muir and Barclay formula (12.5%). Interestingly, of the ICUs using formulae, two had recently moved from using the Muir and Barclay formula to Parkland formula and one had recently moved from using the Parkland formula to Muir and Barclay formula. Despite this, 37.5% of ICUs using a formula did not rigidly follow it exactly. The most commonly used resuscitation fluid was Ringer’s lactate solution (46.9%) and Human Albumin Solution was used in 12.5%. No ICU used red cell concentrate as a first line fluid. 18.8% used a central line. 40.6% ICUs considered changing the IV solution during resuscitation. 78.1% ICUs consider urine output to be the most important factor in modifying resuscitation volumes. 59.4% ICUs calculate a maintenance fluid rate after completion of resuscitation. The endpoint for resuscitation was at 24 h in 46.9% ICUs and at 36 h in 9.4%. 5/32 (16%) felt their protocol gave too little and 6/32 (19%) felt their protocol gave too much. 59.3% ICUs gave oral/enteral fluids by naso-gastric or naso-jejenal tubes. 21.9% felt that oral/enteral resuscitation worked. Exactly half of the units believed that the formula that they used provided approximately the right amount of fluid, with 25% believing that it provided too much and 21.9% that it provided too little. Discussion and conclusion: There is substantial variation in the fluid resuscitation protocols for burns of ICUs in the British Isles. The different practices demonstrated in this survey may have important consequences as inadequate fluid resuscitation can limit perfusion to potentially recoverable burns, grafted tissue and body organs not directly injured.

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