Out-of-hospital fluid in severe sepsis: effect on early resuscitation in the emergency department

Prehosp Emerg Care. Apr-Jun 2010;14(2):145-52. doi: 10.3109/10903120903524997.

Abstract

Background: Early identification and treatment of patients with severe sepsis improves outcome, yet the role of out-of-hospital intravenous (IV) fluid is unknown.

Objective: To determine if the delivery of out-of-hospital fluid in patients with severe sepsis is associated with reduced time to achievement of goal-oriented resuscitation in the emergency department (ED).

Methods: We performed a secondary data analysis of a retrospective cohort study in a metropolitan, tertiary care, university-based medical center supported by a two-tiered system of out-of-hospital emergency medical services (EMS) providers. We studied the association between delivery of out-of-hospital fluid by advanced life support (ALS) providers and the achievement of resuscitation endpoints (central venous pressure [CVP] > or =8 mmHg, mean arterial pressure [MAP] > or =65 mmHg, and central venous oxygen saturation [ScvO(2)] > or =70%) within six hours after triage during early goal-directed therapy (EGDT) in the ED.

Results: Twenty five (48%) of 52 patients transported by ALS with severe sepsis received out-of-hospital fluid. Data for age, gender, source of sepsis, and presence of comorbidities were similar between patients who did and did not receive out-of-hospital fluid. Patients receiving out-of-hospital fluid had lower out-of-hospital mean (+/- standard deviation) systolic blood pressure (95 +/- 40 mmHg vs. 117 +/- 29 mmHg; p = 0.03) and higher median (interquartile range) Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) scores in the ED (7 [5-8] vs. 4 [4-6]; p = 0.01) than patients not receiving out-of-hospital fluid. Despite greater severity of illness, patients receiving out-of-hospital fluid approached but did not attain a statistically significant increase in the likelihood of achieving MAP > or =65 mmHg within six hours after ED triage (70% vs. 44%, p = 0.09). On average, patients receiving out-of-hospital fluid received twice the fluid volume within one hour after ED triage (1.1 L [1.0-2.0 L] vs. 0.6 L [0.3-1.0 L]; p = 0.01). No difference in achievement of goal CVP (72% vs. 60%; p = 0.6) or goal ScvO(2) (54% vs. 36%; p = 0.25) was observed between groups.

Conclusions: Less than half of patients with severe sepsis transported by ALS received out-of-hospital fluid. Patients receiving out-of-hospital IV access and fluids approached but did not attain a statistically significant increase in the likelihood of achieving goal MAP during EGDT. These preliminary findings require additional investigation to evaluate the optimal role of out-of-hospital resuscitation in treating patients with severe sepsis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cohort Studies
  • Early Diagnosis*
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Emergency Service, Hospital*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sepsis / diagnosis
  • Sepsis / therapy*
  • Severity of Illness Index*