Intravenous fluid therapy in the perioperative and critical care setting: Executive summary of the International Fluid Academy (IFA)

Manu L.N.G. Malbrain, Thomas Langer, Djillali Annane, Luciano Gattinoni, Paul Elbers, Robert G. Hahn, Inneke De laet, Andrea Minini, Adrian Wong, Can Ince, David Muckart, Monty Mythen, Pietro Caironi, Niels Van Regenmortel

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Intravenous fluid administration should be considered as any other pharmacological prescription. There are three main indications: resuscitation, replacement, and maintenance. Moreover, the impact of fluid administration as drug diluent or to preserve catheter patency, i.e., fluid creep, should also be considered. As for antibiotics, intravenous fluid administration should follow the four Ds: drug, dosing, duration, de-escalation. Among crystalloids, balanced solutions limit acid–base alterations and chloride load and should be preferred, as this likely prevents renal dysfunction. Among colloids, albumin, the only available natural colloid, may have beneficial effects. The last decade has seen growing interest in the potential harms related to fluid overloading. In the perioperative setting, appropriate fluid management that maintains adequate organ perfusion while limiting fluid administration should represent the standard of care. Protocols including a restrictive continuous fluid administration alongside bolus administration to achieve hemodynamic targets have been proposed. A similar approach should be considered also for critically ill patients, in whom increased endothelial permeability makes this strategy more relevant. Active de-escalation protocols may be necessary in a later phase. The R.O.S.E. conceptual model (Resuscitation, Optimization, Stabilization, Evacuation) summarizes accurately a dynamic approach to fluid therapy, maximizing benefits and minimizing harms. Even in specific categories of critically ill patients, i.e., with trauma or burns, fluid therapy should be carefully applied, considering the importance of their specific aims; maintaining peripheral oxygen delivery, while avoiding the consequences of fluid overload.

Original languageEnglish
Article number64
JournalAnnals of Intensive Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


  • Acid base
  • Chloride
  • Crystalloids
  • Fluid therapy
  • Goal-directed
  • Intensive care units
  • Maintenance
  • Resuscitation
  • Sodium
  • Water–electrolyte balance

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