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"These findings suggest that fluid volume received is the predominant factor associated with ongoing fluid and vasopressor decisions, outweighing many other clinical factors. Peripheral vasopressor use is common" Munroe et al (2024).
Fluid and vasopressor decisions in early sepsis management

Abstract:

Importance: Recent sepsis trials suggest that fluid-liberal vs fluid-restrictive resuscitation has similar outcomes. These trials used generalized approaches to resuscitation, and little is known about how clinicians personalize fluid and vasopressor administration in practice.

Objective: To understand how clinicians personalize decisions about resuscitation in practice.

Design, setting, and participants: This survey study of US clinicians in the Society of Critical Care Medicine membership roster was conducted from November 2022 to January 2023. Surveys contained 10 vignettes of patients with sepsis where pertinent clinical factors (eg, fluid received and volume status) were randomized. Respondents selected the next steps in management. Data analysis was conducted from February to September 2023.

Exposure: Online Qualtrics clinical vignette survey.

Main outcomes and measures: Using multivariable logistic regression, the associations of clinical factors with decisions about fluid administration, vasopressor initiation, and vasopressor route were tested. Results are presented as adjusted proportions with 95% CIs.

Results: Among 11 203 invited clinicians, 550 (4.9%; 261 men [47.5%] and 192 women [34.9%]; 173 with >15 years of practice [31.5%]) completed at least 1 vignette and were included. A majority were physicians (337 respondents [61.3%]) and critical care trained (369 respondents [67.1%]). Fluid volume already received by a patient was associated with resuscitation decisions. After 1 L of fluid, an adjusted 82.5% (95% CI, 80.2%-84.8%) of respondents prescribed additional fluid and an adjusted 55.0% (95% CI, 51.9%-58.1%) initiated vasopressors. After 5 L of fluid, an adjusted 17.5% (95% CI, 15.1%-19.9%) of respondents prescribed more fluid while an adjusted 92.7% (95% CI, 91.1%-94.3%) initiated vasopressors. More respondents prescribed fluid when the patient examination found dry vs wet (ie, overloaded) volume status (adjusted proportion, 66.9% [95% CI, 62.5%-71.2%] vs adjusted proportion, 26.5% [95% CI, 22.3%-30.6%]). Medical history, respiratory status, lactate trend, and acute kidney injury had small associations with fluid and vasopressor decisions. In 1023 of 1127 vignettes (90.8%) where the patient did not have central access, respondents were willing to start vasopressors through a peripheral intravenous catheter. In cases where patients were already receiving peripheral norepinephrine, respondents were more likely to place a central line at higher norepinephrine doses of 0.5 µg/kg/min (adjusted proportion, 78.0%; 95% CI, 74.7%-81.2%) vs 0.08 µg/kg/min (adjusted proportion, 25.2%; 95% CI, 21.8%-28.5%) and after 24 hours (adjusted proportion, 59.5%; 95% CI, 56.6%-62.5%) vs 8 hours (adjusted proportion, 47.1%; 95% CI, 44.0%-50.1%).

Conclusions and relevance: These findings suggest that fluid volume received is the predominant factor associated with ongoing fluid and vasopressor decisions, outweighing many other clinical factors. Peripheral vasopressor use is common. Future studies aimed at personalizing resuscitation must account for fluid volumes and should incorporate specific tools to help clinicians personalize resuscitation.

Reference:

Munroe ES, Weinstein J, Gershengorn HB, Karlic KJ, Seelye S, Sjoding MW, Valley TS, Prescott HC. Understanding How Clinicians Personalize Fluid and Vasopressor Decisions in Early Sepsis Management. JAMA Netw Open. 2024 Apr 1;7(4):e247480. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2024.7480. PMID: 38639934.