Bench-to-bedside review: The initial hemodynamic resuscitation of the septic patient according to Surviving Sepsis Campaign guidelines – does one size fit all?
Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Aviv University, Tel Hashomer, 52621 Israel
Critical Care 2008, 12:223 doi:10.1186/cc6979Published: 3 September 2008
The Surviving Sepsis Campaign guidelines for the management of severe sepsis and septic shock recommend that the initial hemodynamic resuscitation be done according to the protocol used by Rivers and colleagues in their well-known early goal-directed therapy (EGDT) study. However, it may well be that their patients were much sicker on admission than many other septic patients. Compared with other populations of septic patients, the patients of Rivers and colleagues had a higher incidence of severe comorbidities, a more severe hemodynamic status on admission (excessively low central venous oxygen saturation [ScvO2], low central venous pressure [CVP], and high lactate), and higher mortality rates. Therefore, it may well be that these patients arrived to the hospital in late untreated hypovolemic sepsis, which may have been due, in part at least, to low socioeconomic status and reduced access to health care. The EGDT protocol uses target values for CVP and ScvO2 to guide hemodynamic management. However, filling pressures do not reliably predict the response to fluid administration, while the ScvO2 of septic patients is characteristically high due to decreased oxygen extraction. For all these reasons, it seems that the hemodynamic component of the Surviving Sepsis Campaign guidelines cannot be applied to all septic patients, particularly those who develop sepsis during their hospital stay.