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A comparison of intravenous and subcutaneous hydration in elderly acute stroke patients.
  1. Y. C. Challiner,
  2. D. Jarrett,
  3. M. J. Hayward,
  4. M. A. al-Jubouri,
  5. S. A. Julious
  1. Department of Elderly Services, Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham, Portsmouth, UK.


    The aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness of subcutaneous and intravenous fluid therapy in hydrating, elderly acute stroke patients. Thirty-four such patients, needing parenteral fluids because of impaired consciousness or dysphagia, were randomly allocated to receive either subcutaneous or intravenous fluids (2 litres of dextrose-saline/24 hours). Serum osmolality was measured before starting fluid therapy (Day 1) and on Days 2 and 3. An analysis of covariance of the osmolalities showed no statistical difference between the two groups (P = 0.12). The total cost of cannulae used over the 3 days for the subcutaneous route was approximately a third of that for the intravenous route. Complication rates were similar for the two groups. The results suggest that subcutaneous fluid therapy is an effective alternative to the intravenous route.

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