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ObjectivesFluid bolus resuscitation in African children is harmful. Little research has evaluated physiologic effects of maintenance-only fluid strategy.DesignWe describe the efficacy of fluid-conservative resuscitation of septic shock using case-fatality, hemodynamic, and myocardial function endpoints.SettingPediatric wards of Mbale Regional Referral Hospital, Uganda, and Kilifi County Hospital, Kenya, conducted between October 2013 and July 2015. Data were analysed from August 2016 to July 2019.PatientsChildren (≥ 60 d to ≤ 12 yr) with severe febrile illness and clinical signs of impaired perfusion.InterventionsIV maintenance fluid (4 mL/kg/hr) unless children had World Health Organization (WHO) defined shock (≥ 3 signs) where they received two fluid boluses (20 mL/kg) and transfusion if shock persisted. Clinical, electrocardiographic, echocardiographic, and laboratory data were collected at presentation, during resuscitation and on day 28. Outcome measures were 48-hour mortality, normalization of hemodynamics, and cardiac biomarkers.Measurement and main resultsThirty children (70% males) were recruited, six had WHO shock, all of whom died (6/6) versus three of 24 deaths in the non-WHO shock. Median fluid volume received by survivors and nonsurvivors were similar (13 [interquartile range (IQR), 9-32] vs 30 mL/kg [28-61 mL/kg], z = 1.62, p = 0.23). By 24 hours, we observed increases in median (IQR) stroke volume index (39 mL/m 2 [32-42 mL/m 2 ] to 47 mL/m 2 [41-49 mL/m 2 ]) and a measure of systolic function: fractional shortening from 30 (27-33) to 34 (31-38) from baseline including children managed with no-bolus. Children with WHO shock had a higher mean level of cardiac troponin ( t = 3.58; 95% CI, 1.24-1.43; p = 0.02) and alpha-atrial natriuretic peptide ( t = 16.5; 95% CI, 2.80-67.5; p < 0.01) at admission compared with non-WHO shock. Elevated troponin (> 0.1 μg/mL) and hyperlactatemia (> 4 mmol/L) were putative makers predicting outcome.ConclusionsMaintenance-only fluid therapy normalized clinical and myocardial perturbations in shock without compromising cardiac or hemodynamic function whereas fluid-bolus management of WHO shock resulted in high fatality. Troponin and lactate biomarkers of cardiac dysfunction could be promising outcome predictors in pediatric septic shock in resource-limited settings.

Original publication





Pediatric critical care medicine : a journal of the Society of Critical Care Medicine and the World Federation of Pediatric Intensive and Critical Care Societies

Publication Date





502 - 513


Kenya Medical Research Institute, Clinical Sciences Department, Wellcome Trust Research Programme, Kilifi, Kenya.


Humans, Shock, Septic, Shock, Troponin, Fluid Therapy, Child, Uganda, Female, Male, Biomarkers