Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Practice Guidelines

Intravenous fluid therapy for adults in hospital: summary of NICE guidance

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f7073 (Published 10 December 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f7073

Rapid Response:

Re: Intravenous fluid therapy for adults in hospital: summary of NICE guidance

We welcome this guidance from NICE on management of intravenous fluids: although fairly concentrated it does clearly address a problem area about which knowledge & skills have often been far too dilute. The challenge however, will be to encourage dry facts & figures to flow into everyday patient care.

For patients admitted on the day of surgery and requiring intravenous maintenance fluids we, as anaesthetists, find it useful to translate the bags we hang into the real-world (human) currency of cups, crisps & chocolate bars. We see a litre of fluid as 4 cups of tea (volume), a litre of Normal Saline as 18 bags of crisps (salt), and a litre of Dextrose 5% as a three-fingered Kit Kat (calories)! It helps us to judge whether giving something would be reasonable or ridiculous in a way that simply spiking bags and reading millimoles doesn't.

These guidelines need to become everybody's cup of tea: strategies like this may help.

Competing interests: No competing interests

17 December 2013
Tom Syratt
CT1
Mark Davies
Dept. of Anaesthesia, Royal Liverpool University Hospital
Liverpool UK