International, multicentre, observational study of fluid bolus therapy in neonates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


To assess the prevalence, types and indications for fluid bolus therapy in neonates with haemodynamic compromise.

This was a pragmatic, international, multicentre observational study in neonatal units across Australasia, Europe and North America with a predefined study period of 10–15 study days per participating neonatal unit between December 2015 and March 2017. Infants ≤28 days of age who received a fluid bolus for the management of haemodynamic compromise (≥10 mL/kg given at ≤6 h) were included.

A total of 163 neonates received a bolus over 8479 eligible patient days in 41 neonatal units. Prevalence of fluid bolus therapy varied between centres from 0 to 28.6% of admitted neonates per day, with a pooled prevalence rate of 1.5% (95% confidence interval 1.1–1.9%). The most common fluid used was 0.9% sodium chloride (129/163; 79%), and the volume of fluid administered was most commonly 10 mL/kg (115/163; 71%) over a median of 30 min (interquartile range 20–60). The most frequent indications were hypotension (n = 56; 34%), poor perfusion (n = 20; 12%) and metabolic acidosis (n = 20; 12%). Minimal or no clinical improvement was reported by clinicians in 66 of 163 cases (40%).

Wide international variations in types, indications and effects of fluid bolus administration in haemodynamically compromised neonates suggest uncertainty in the risk–benefit profile. This is likely to reflect the lack of robust evidence to support the efficacy of different fluid types, doses and appropriate indications. Together, these highlight a need for further clinically relevant studies.

OT and JK collected data for the NeoBolus study.


  • NeoBolus Study Group
External organisations
  • University of Adelaide
  • Skåne University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Pediatrics
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)632-639
JournalJournal of Paediatrics and Child Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Oct 16
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes

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