INTRODUCTION: The subcutaneous (SC) route has recently emerged as a rehydration method with potential advantages in the geriatric population. Nevertheless, little is known about its application during hospitalization. The objective of the present study is to evaluate the subcutaneous non-inferiority efficacy in hydration against the intravenous (IV) route in elderly patients with dehydration.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: A prospective, randomized and controlled interventional trial of patients 65 years and older admitted to an Acute Geriatric Unit with mild to moderate dehydration and oral intolerance, evaluating the non-inferiority of subcutaneous fluid therapy versus the intravenous route. The intervention consisted of the administration of up to 1.5 l/day/route for 72 hours subcutaneous vs. intravenous, evaluating the variations in biochemical parameters (urea, creatinine, osmolarity), clinical outcome, and route related complications.
RESULTS: Sixty seven patients completed the study (34 SC, age 86.4±8.5 years, 41% women, vs. 33 IV, 84.3±6.6, 54.5% women, with no significant differences). The amount of fluid administered per day by route was 1.320 ml±400 SC vs. 1.480 ml±340 IV, P=.092. During follow similar reductions were observed between groups without any statistical significance, with mean differences pre-postintervention of urea (49.6±52.3 SC vs. 50.3±52.3 IV, P=.96); creatinine (0.68±0.66 SC vs. 0.60±0.49 IV, P=.58), and osmolarity (15.6±24.4 SC vs. 21.1±31 IV, P=.43). Fewer catheter extraction episodes were observed in the SC group, which also was the group most prone to peri-clysis edema.
CONCLUSIONS: The efficacy of subcutaneous rehydration in elderly hospitalized patients with mild-moderate dehydration is not inferior to that obtained intravenously, and may even have additional advantages.
Duems Noriega, O. and Ariño Blasco, S. (2014) Efficacy of the subcutaneous route compared to intravenous hydration in the elderly hospitalised patient: A randomised controlled study. Revista Española de Geriatría y Gerontología. January 28th. (epub ahead of print). (Article in Spanish).