1. Schweer, Lynn MSN, RN, CNP


Fluid management is a vital component in the resuscitative care of the injured child. The goal of fluid resuscitation is to restore tissue perfusion without compromising the body's natural compensatory mechanism. Recent literature has questioned the timing, type, and amount of fluid administration during the resuscitative phase. When managing a pediatric resuscitation, it is imperative to use a variety of age-appropriate physiologic parameters because reliance on blood pressure alone will lead to delayed recognition of shock. Establishing vascular access, via peripheral intravenous, central venous, or intraosseous catheter, should be a high nursing priority. Hemorrhage control and fluid resuscitation of an injured child remains a top priority of trauma care. Early intravenous access with appropriate fluid administration continues to be a universal treatment for the hypotensive trauma patient. Fluid resuscitation in the early phase of care, whether in the field, emergency department, or operating room, should be targeted toward perfusing critical organs, such as the brain and heart. Once obvious bleeding is controlled, the overall goal for fluid management centers on maintaining oxygen delivery to perfuse vital structures with enough oxygen and energy substrates to maintain cellular function, thus avoiding tissue ischemia. However, specific issues around timing and type of fluid administration, once thought to be straightforward, have triggered increasing investigation of current beliefs.