BMJ Open 4:e005028 doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2014-005028
  • Emergency medicine
    • Research

Rapid paediatric fluid resuscitation: a randomised controlled trial comparing the efficiency of two provider-endorsed manual paediatric fluid resuscitation techniques in a simulated setting

  1. Melissa J Parker1,5
  1. 1Department of Pediatrics, McMaster Children's Hospital and McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  2. 2Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  3. 3Biostatistics Unit,/FSORC, St Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton, Hamilton, Canada
  4. 4Department of Anesthesia, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  5. 5Division of Emergency Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, The Hospital for Sick Children, and University of Toronto, University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Melissa J Parker; parkermj{at}
  • Received 10 February 2014
  • Revised 13 June 2014
  • Accepted 17 June 2014
  • Published 3 July 2014


Objectives Manual techniques of intravascular fluid administration are commonly used during paediatric resuscitation, although it is unclear which technique is most efficient in the hands of typical healthcare providers. We compared the rate of fluid administration achieved with the disconnect–reconnect and push–pull manual syringe techniques for paediatric fluid resuscitation in a simulated setting.

Methods This study utilised a randomised crossover trial design and enrolled 16 consenting healthcare provider participants from a Canadian paediatric tertiary care centre. The study was conducted in a non-clinical setting using a model simulating a 15 kg child in decompensated shock. Participants administered 900 mL (60 mL/kg) of normal saline to the simulated patient using each of the two techniques under study. The primary outcome was the rate of fluid administration, as determined by two blinded independent video reviewers. We also collected participant demographic data and evaluated other secondary outcomes including total volume administered, number of catheter dislodgements, number of technical errors, and subjective and objective measures of provider fatigue.

Results All 16 participants completed the trial. The mean (SD) rate of fluid administration (mL/s) was greater for the disconnect–reconnect technique at 1.77 (0.145) than it was for the push–pull technique at 1.62 (0.226), with a mean difference of 0.15 (95% CI 0.055 to 0.251; p=0.005). There was no difference in mean volume administered (p=0.778) or participant self-reported fatigue (p=0.736) between techniques. No catheter dislodgement events occurred.

Conclusions The disconnect–reconnect technique allowed for the fastest rate of fluid administration, suggesting that use of this technique may be preferable in situations requiring rapid resuscitation. These findings may help to inform future iterations of paediatric resuscitation guidelines.

Trial registration number This trial was registered at [NCT01774214] prior to enrolling the first participant.

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