Monday, January 27, 2020

Elevated Lactate Does Not Equal More Fluids

There is a law of diminishing returns when resuscitating patients with bolus after bolus of IV fluids.

Yes, lactate decreased with additional boluses by 1.3% per every 7.5mg/kg increase in fluids making the numbers look pretty, but does that mean we're treating the source of the lactate or are we just diluting it? This study shows that mortality actually increases as we keep providing more fluids.

I’m not saying that patients who are in septic shock do not need fluids. On the contrary, they need judicious use of IV fluids and 30cc/kg initial resuscitation is okay with me in the vast majority of patients. I had to read many articles to finally fall in line with that. Of course there are several patient populations where I’m against it. For example, severe pulmonary hypertension patients with right hearts living on a tight rope. I digress. But tagging along with my prior post discussing giving fluid boluses reflexively, this study shows that fluids don’t really “clear” lactate in the way we all hope and want them to. The correlation of having an elevated lactate to mortality is there. The correlation with more fluids making lactate decrease isn’t. The pathophysiology behind where lactate comes from explains why not. And as we all should know, fluids are not benign. The more fluids we give patients the higher the mortality per the 9000 that were assessed in this study.
A 🎩 tip to the authors. .

Liu V, Morehouse JW, Soule J, Whippy A, Escobar GJ. Fluid volume, lactate values, and mortality in sepsis patients with intermediate lactate values. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2013;10:466–73.


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