New guide for intra-operative fluid management

9 February 2010

The UK's NHS Technology Adoption Centre (NTAC) has launched an online guide for Doppler Guided Intra-operative Fluid Management.

The Guide informs clinicians, particularly anaesthetists, and managers how to successfully implement intra-operative fluid management into routine clinical and operational practice.

Optimal management of fluid balance during major surgery is considered a key factor in improving surgical outcomes. Innovative and minimally invasive monitoring of cardiac stroke volume using oesophageal Doppler technology in operating theatres now enables the anaesthetist to safely and accurately administer intravenous fluids during surgery.

Benefits of this technology include:

  • Reduced risk. Fewer complications compared with other invasive monitoring techniques.
  • Minimal training. Minimal training is required for the use of the cardiac output monitors. The minimally invasive oesophageal probes are easy to insert and remove.
  • Improved patient outcomes. As a guide for fluid replacement during major surgery, oesophageal Doppler guided fluid management ensures adequate blood perfusion to major organs, reducing the risk of hypovolaemia and post-operative complications.
  • Reduced hospital stay. By addressing the challenge of hypovolaemia, the reduced risk of complications have been shown to contribute to an overall reduction in patient length of stay.
  • Benefits to patients and the NHS. A reduction in complications will enhance patient experience. A reduction in patient length of stay will enhance efficiency and improve patient care pathways.

Widespread implementation of this technique in major surgery offers the opportunity for the NHS to deliver large scale improvements in both quality of care and productivity.

The step-by-step How to why to Guide provides comprehensive information on this technique and reports on the experience of NTAC's three clinical implementation sites currently using the technology. The Guide also explains the adoption barriers and how they can be overcome. Features include a unique easy-to-use Business Case Template, a Costing Model, and a Roadmap Section to support clinicians and hospital managers in the implementation of this technique into clinical and operational practice.

The Guide is available at:


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