This guideline covers general principles for managing intravenous (IV) fluids for children and young people under 16 years, including assessing fluid and electrolyte status and prescribing IV fluid therapy. It applies to a range of conditions and different settings. It does not include recommendations relating to specific conditions. This guideline represents a major opportunity to improve patient safety for children and young people having IV fluid therapy in hospital.
In June 2020, we amended a recommendation to clarify the use of isotonic crystalloids for routine maintenance in term neonates.
This guideline includes recommendations on:
- principles and protocols for intravenous fluid therapy
- assessment and monitoring
- fluid resuscitation
- routine maintenance
- replacement and redistribution
- managing hypernatraemia and hyponatraemia that develops during intravenous fluid therapy
- training and education
Who is it for?
- Healthcare professionals who care for children and young people who need IV fluid therapy
- Commissioners and providers of healthcare services
- Children and young people under 16 years who need IV fluid therapy, their families and carers
Guideline development process
The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals and practitioners are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or the people using their service. It is not mandatory to apply the recommendations, and the guideline does not override the responsibility to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual, in consultation with them and their families and carers or guardian.
All problems (adverse events) related to a medicine or medical device used for treatment or in a procedure should be reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency using the Yellow Card Scheme.
Local commissioners and providers of healthcare have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual professionals and people using services wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with complying with those duties.
Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.