BACKGROUND: Increasing evidence indicates the potential benefits of restricted fluid management in critically ill patients. Evidence lacks on the optimal fluid management strategy for invasively ventilated COVID-19 patients. We hypothesized that the cumulative fluid balance would affect the successful liberation of invasive ventilation in COVID-19 patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
METHODS: We analyzed data from the multicenter observational 'PRactice of VENTilation in COVID-19 patients' study. Patients with confirmed COVID-19 and ARDS who required invasive ventilation during the first 3 months of the international outbreak (March 1, 2020, to June 2020) across 22 hospitals in the Netherlands were included. The primary outcome was successful liberation of invasive ventilation, modeled as a function of day 3 cumulative fluid balance using Cox proportional hazards models, using the crude and the adjusted association. Sensitivity analyses without missing data and modeling ARDS severity were performed.
RESULTS: Among 650 patients, three groups were identified. Patients in the higher, intermediate, and lower groups had a median cumulative fluid balance of 1.98 L (1.27-7.72 L), 0.78 L (0.26-1.27 L), and - 0.35 L (- 6.52-0.26 L), respectively. Higher day 3 cumulative fluid balance was significantly associated with a lower probability of successful ventilation liberation (adjusted hazard ratio 0.86, 95% CI 0.77-0.95, P = 0.0047). Sensitivity analyses showed similar results.
CONCLUSIONS: In a cohort of invasively ventilated patients with COVID-19 and ARDS, a higher cumulative fluid balance was associated with a longer ventilation duration, indicating that restricted fluid management in these patients may be beneficial. Trial registration Clinicaltrials.gov ( NCT04346342 ); Date of registration: April 15, 2020.