IV drip for fluid therapy

Time Critical Fluid Assessment: Save Lives with VitalStream

With around 80% of hospitalized patients being prescribed intravenous (IV) fluid therapy[1], physicians need fast and reliable insight into how patients are responding so they can effectively manage changes in their blood volume.

Incorrect intravascular volume can lead to severe complications, and even death. Reduced oxygen levels in organs can occur from a low volume, while fluid overload can result in swelling and organ damage, including respiratory failure. It’s been reported that 20% of patients on IV fluid therapy suffer complications due to incorrect fluid administration[2] – so it’s essential that physicians get it right.

Studies show that a higher cumulative fluid balance is an important factor associated with 28-day mortality[3]. In a European study of patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU), each 1 liter of positive fluid balance during the first 72 hours was associated with a 10% increase in mortality after adjustments for other risk factors.[4]

The challenges of measuring fluid volume status


Getting accurate, up-to-the minute information on a patient’s fluid levels can be a challenge for emergency departments, who rely on this data to administer the correct treatment for critical illnesses such as sepsis, heart attacks or congestive heart failure.

To determine the right clinical management for the patient, they need to know if they are hypovolaemic (a decrease in blood volume), euvolaemic (the normal volume of blood or fluids in their body) or hypervolaemic (too much fluid in their blood) – and track trends.

An initial measurement of vital sign parameters such as blood pressure and pulse rate will be carried out to assess fluid volume status, alongside physical examinations including urine output and the temperature of extremities. These signs are then monitored through regular spot checks to assess how the patient is responding to the IV. 

Every moment matters in acute settings, and there are risks from this approach that can be better managed and even averted through new innovations in patient monitoring systems.

Blood pressure should not be used alone to define fluid status as BP can be maintained in the normal range by a compensatory mechanism despite concomitant peripheral hypoperfusion.   Additionally, abnormal reads can be caused if a patient’s arm is bent, or hanging off the side of the bed – and it could be another 20 minutes before a new, accurate reading is taken. When dealing with critically ill patients, a deterioration in condition can happen between these routine vital sign observations, putting them at risk. 

Personalized volume management – the role of VitalStream

Caretaker Medical’s VitalStream is a noninvasive blood pressure and hemodynamic monitoring technology that allows for personalized treatment adjustments, with dynamic and flow-based parameters for ‘door to fluid assessment at the push of a button.

It’s wireless noninvasive platform, helps reduce the risks caused by catheters and can save precious time by providing automatic measurement and reporting of the individual’s key physiological parameters. It also eliminates wires that tether the patient and the staff would otherwise have to manage.

VitalStream supplies immediate and continuous patient readings so physicians can get better data on trends, alongside real time information on how they are responding to therapeutics. Caretaker’s software also collaborates with early warning systems to provide alerts before a patient deteriorates quickly – a big advantage over typical monitoring systems.

What’s more, it’s been estimated that using a such a patient monitoring system for improved fluid status evaluation could result in a per patient cost saving of more than 14,000 USD[5].

So, for more accurate ‘beat by beat’ insight into time-critical fluid volumes, VitalStream’s acute care monitoring system provides the data required for rapid response and early intervention

So, when a patient is assessed to require IV Fluid, VitalStream’s acute care monitoring system provides the data required for rapid response and early intervention

To find out more, visit caretakermedical.net or see our case studies at caretakermedical.net/case-studies/


[1] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8229429/

[2] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33158712/

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4619072/

[4] Vincent JL, Sakr Y, Sprung CL et al. Sepsis in European intensive care units: results of the SOAP study. Crit Care Med 2006; 34: 344–353.

[5] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23836999/

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