Described practices for assessing fluid resuscitation in acute hospital care: a qualitative study

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Colleges, School and Institutes


Fluid resuscitation is a widely-used treatment in acute and emergency medicine, however, the process used to perform a fluid assessment has never been studied. This qualitative study explored how acute physicians describe their approach to assessing for fluid resuscitation. 18 clinicians of varying grades consented to a semi-structured interview. Transcripts were coded and analysed using thematic analysis. Participants described three subtypes of assessment; screening assessment, emergency assessment and formal assessment. Whether a patient was ‘sick’ was key to determining which assessment they would receive. Marked heterogeneity was noted in the assessment processes, particularly regarding the use of history-taking. Further research is required to determine how the information gathered in these assessments is used to decide when fluid resuscitation is indicated.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-264
JournalAcute Medicine
Issue number4
Early online date6 Jan 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Jan 2020


  • fluid assessment, fluid resuscitation, acute medicine, thematic analysis, qualitative