Objective: To determine the feasibility of Fluids in Shock, a randomised controlled trial (RCT) of restricted fluid bolus volume (10 mL/kg) versus recommended practice (20 mL/kg).
Design: Nine-month pilot RCT with embedded mixed-method perspectives study.
Setting: 13 hospitals in England.
Patients: Children presenting to emergency departments with suspected infection and shock after 20 mL/kg fluid.
Interventions: Patients were randomly allocated (1:1) to further 10 or 20 mL/kg fluid boluses every 15 min for up to 4 hours if still in shock.
Main outcome measures: These were based on progression criteria, including recruitment and retention, protocol adherence, separation, potential trial outcome measures, and parent and staff perspectives.
Results: Seventy-five participants were randomised; two were withdrawn. 23 (59%) of 39 in the 10 mL/kg arm and 25 (74%) of 34 in the 20 mL/kg arm required a single trial bolus before the shock resolved. 79% of boluses were delivered per protocol in the 10 mL/kg arm and 55% in the 20 mL/kg arm. The volume of study bolus fluid after 4 hours was 44% lower in the 10 mL/kg group (mean 14.5 vs 27.5 mL/kg). The Paediatric Index of Mortality-2 score was 2.1 (IQR 1.6-2.7) in the 10 mL/kg group and 2.0 (IQR 1.6-2.5) in the 20 mL/kg group. There were no deaths. Length of hospital stay, paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) admissions and PICU-free days at 30 days did not differ significantly between the groups. In the perspectives study, the trial was generally supported, although some problems with protocol adherence were described.
Conclusions: Participants were not as unwell as expected. A larger trial is not feasible in its current design in the UK.
Trial registration number: ISRCTN15244462.
Keywords: accident & emergency; general paediatrics; infectious diseases; intensive care; resuscitation.
© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2019. Re-use permitted under CC BY. Published by BMJ.