Background: Enzyme-assisted subcutaneous infusion (EASI), with subcutaneous human recombinant hyaluronidase pretreatment, may offer an alternative to standard intravenous (IV) access.
Objectives: This study's objectives were to assess paramedic (Emergency Medical Technician-Paramedic [EMTP])-placed EASI access in volunteers to determine (1) feasibility of EMTP EASI access placement; (2) subject/EMTP ratings of placement ease, discomfort, and overall EASI vs IV preference; and (3) speed of intravascular uptake of EASI infusate.
Methods: Twenty adults underwent 20-gauge IV placement by 4 EMTPs, receiving a 250-mL maximal-rate IV bolus of normal saline. Next, each subject received in the other arm a 20-gauge EASI access line (with 1-mL injection of 150 U of human recombinant hyaluronidase), through which was infused 250 mL D5NS (1 g glucose was labeled with stable tracer 13C). Blood draws enabled gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) assessment of 13C-glucose uptake. Intravenous access and EASI access were compared for time parameters and subject/EMTP ratings. Data were analyzed with median and interquartile range, Kruskal-Wallis testing, Fisher exact test, and regression (GC/MS data).
Results: Intravenous access and EASI access were successful in all 20 subjects. Compared with EASI access (all placed in <15 seconds), IV access took longer; but the 250-mL bolus was given more quickly via IV access. EMTPs rated EASI easier to place than IV; pain ratings were similar for IV and EASI. The GC/MS showed intravascular uptake at all time points.
Conclusions: Enzyme-assisted subcutaneous infusion is faster and easier to initiate than IV access; intravascular absorption of EASI-administered fluids begins within minutes.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00386386.