Improving intravenous fluid prescribing

Intravenous (IV) fluid therapy is integral to the care of patients in hospitals but involves complex decisions. Errors in fluid prescribing are common, leading to significant harm due to inappropriate fluid type, rate or volume. British national guidelines have been developed to improve prescribing, but adherence has been generally poor. The Scottish Government has set up a National IV Fluid Improvement Programme to implement national guidelines throughout Scotland.

Acute kidney injury

Acute kidney injury (AKI) represents a medical emergency associated with poor clinical outcomes. The international guideline group Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) has defined AKI according to rises in serum creatinine and/or reductions in urine output. Any patient who meets the criteria for AKI should be reviewed to ascertain the cause of AKI and the severity of the injury should be staged. Patients with more severe AKI are at greater risk of progression to chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Intravenous fluid use in the acutely unwell adult medical inpatient: improving practice through a clinical audit process

Background: Our Trust developed a clinical guideline to improve the prescribing and use of intravenous (IV) fluids based on the British consensus guidelines on IV fluid therapy for adult surgical patients. We audited the effect of targeted interventions to improve performance against this guideline.