Background: Fluid resuscitation with crystalloid is one of the most basic initial management approaches to adult and pediatric patients with severe sepsis and septic shock. However, which fluid should we be giving, and does it matter? Should we give an unbalanced, chloride rich solution such as normal saline or a balanced, chloride restrictive fluid, such as lactated ringers, Plasma-Lyte, or Normasol? Interestingly, the 2016 Surviving Sepsis Guidelines, added resuscitation with balanced fluids into the guidelines, although a weak recommendation with low quality of evidence.
This recommendation was based on some growing adult data, albeit retrospective, showing that resuscitation strategies using normal saline may be harmful and associated with increased risk of AKI (1), need for CRRT (1) and increased mortality (2-3). The effects of balanced fluids however, have not been studied in the resuscitation of children in severe sepsis and septic shock. Read more →