Facilitators and barriers of appropriate and timely initial fluid administration in sepsis: A qualitative study

Publication Name

International Emergency Nursing


Background: Sepsis is a medical emergency requiring prompt recognition, and early administration of intravenous fluids and antibiotics. While compliance with appropriate and timely administration of intravenous fluids has been found to be poor, the reasons are not well understood. Therefore, we have explored the experiences and perceptions of emergency nurses and medical officers from four hospitals to identify the associated facilitators and barriers. Methods: Qualitative design incorporating six focus group discussions and thematic analysis of data. A hybrid approach using both inductive and deductive reasoning was used. Findings: Four key themes were developed: 1. Overcrowding and understaffing threaten appropriate fluid management in sepsis; 2. Variations in clinical practice results in suboptimal fluid management; 3. Challenges with clinical recognition of sepsis impedes timely fluid administration; 4. Top-down approach is necessary to improve fluid management. Conclusion: Themes highlighted the specific challenges associated with fluid administration in sepsis in the emergency department setting providing potential strategies to be implemented to improve practice and ultimately patient outcomes.

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