Intravenous fluid therapy – an under-recognized patient safety opportunity

This version was published on 1 November 2009

Ann Clin Biochem 2009;46:438-440
© 2009 Association for Clinical Biochemistry


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W S A Smellie

Bishop Auckland General Hospital, Cockton Hill Road, Bishop Auckland, Co Durham DL14 6AD, UK

Email: stuart.smellie{at}

Inappropriate fluid regimens are rarely documented as beingresponsible for patient harm, although there is considerablecircumstantial evidence to suggest that fluid overload may bea considerably under-estimated source of patient morbidity andmortality. The GIFTASUP fluid management guidelines publishedin 2008 offer a valuable opportunity to consider a more standardisedapproach to fluid management, possibly in the context of developingroutine hospital services to support good practice.

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