Fluid resuscitation after cardiac surgery in the intensive care unit: A bi-national survey of clinician practice. (The FRACS-ICU clinician survey)

Mahesh Ramanan, Shaun Roberts, James Adrian McCullough, Rishendran Naidoo, Ivan Rapchuk, Mbakise Matebele, Alexis Tabah, Peter Kruger, Julian Smith, Kiran Shekar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Context and Aims: To describe current fluid and vasopressor practices after cardiac surgery in Australia and New Zealand cardiothoracic intensive care units (ICU). Design and Setting: This web-based survey was conducted in cardiothoracic ICUs in Australia and New Zealand. Methods: Intensivists, cardiac surgeons, and anesthetists were contacted to complete the online survey that asked questions regarding first and second choice fluids and vasopressors and the tools and factors that influenced these choices. Results: There were 96 respondents including 51 intensivists, 27 anesthetists, and 18 cardiac surgeons. Balanced crystalloids were the most preferred fluids (70%) followed by 4% albumin (18%) overall and among intensivists and anesthetists; however, cardiac surgeons (41%) preferred 4% albumin as their first choice. The most preferred second choice was 4% albumin (74%). Among vasopressors, noradrenaline was the preferred first choice (93%) and vasopressin the preferred second choice (80%). 53% initiated blood transfusion at a hemoglobin threshold of 70 g/L. Clinical acumen and mean arterial pressure were the most commonly used modalities in determining the need for fluids. Conclusions: There is practice variation in preference for fluids used in cardiac surgical patients in Australia and New Zealand; however, balanced crystalloids and 4% albumin were the most popular choices. In contrast, there is broad agreement with the use of noradrenaline and vasopressin as first and second-line vasopressors. These data will inform the design of future studies that aim to investigate hemodynamic management post cardiac surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-446
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Cardiac Anaesthesia
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Albumin
  • cardiac surgery
  • critical care
  • fluids
  • transfusion
  • vasopressors

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