Background: Inappropriate prescription of intravenous fluid therapy is highly prevalent in hospitals, with up to 1 in 5 patients suffering from preventable, additional morbidity. Since trainee physicians are frequently responsible for prescribing intravenous fluids, it is possible that common medical student resources do not sufficiently cover the topic. There is a paucity of recent literature on this issue, which this study was designed to address.
Methods: Two original evaluation tools were created by the authors to evaluate reference books, official guidelines, and online reference sources commonly used by medical students in the United States of America, Australia, and the United Kingdom on their coverage of foundational and clinically relevant principles of intravenous fluid prescription. The choice of student resources was guided by a literature search and personal experience. A total of 10 resources was assessed.
Results: Resources were generally deficit in their coverage of basic intravenous fluid topics. The total points each topic accumulated ranged from 0.5 (5%) to 7.5 (75%), with the median score being 4.5 (45%), on a scale from 0 to 10 points.
Conclusions: Popular medical student resources poorly cover intravenous fluid therapy topics. This may be contributing to inadequate fluid prescribing practices.Reference:
Ding JB, Varkey TC. Intravenous fluid therapy: a multi-national, cross-sectional survey of common medical student resources. BMC Med Educ. 2022 Jun 14;22(1):454. doi: 10.1186/s12909-022-03433-4. PMID: 35701795.