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Assessment of Fluid responsiveness in the Acute Medical Patient and the Role of Echocardiography


Abstract

Both hyper and hypovolaemia have been associated with poor outcomes. Assessment of fluid responsiveness is challenging in the acute medical patient, due to time constraints, limited evidence and quite often the lack of accurate assessment tools on the Acute Medicine Unit (AMU). This article explains how focused echo assessment is quick and easy to use for this purpose on the acute medical take and highlights key principles to bear in mind when assessing for hypovolaemia and whether to administer fluid therapy. The increasing familiarity with focused echo such as Focused Intensive Care Echocardiography (FICE) and Point Of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) makes extension of these skill sets to assess for fluid responsiveness a relatively straightforward next step for acute physicians.

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