May 15, 2019
1 min read

Treatment with IV fluid does not improve survival of Ebola patients

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During the West African Ebola epidemic, there was no significant difference in 28-day survival among patients with Ebola virus disease who were treated with IV fluid compared with those who were not, according to study findings.

“The West Africa epidemic as well as more recent outbreaks in [the Democratic Republic of the Congo] highlight the global health dangers posed by [Ebola virus disease (EVD)] and the need for better understanding of which management strategies improve survival,” Adam R. Aluisio, MD, MSc, assistant professor of emergency medicine at Brown University Alpert Medical School, and colleagues wrote.

“The current results, from a large multisite epidemic population, provide the highest quality evidence to date that [IV fluid (IVF)] by itself, does not improve survival in patients with EVD in a low-resource setting, suggesting limited utility for routine use of a therapy requiring significant resources to administer.”

Aluisio and colleagues retrospectively evaluated patients with EVD admitted to five Ebola treatment units in Liberia and Sierra Leone to determine the primary outcome difference between cases treated with and not treated with IVF. Over 2,750 patients were seen at these facilities during the epidemic, including 20% who were diagnosed with EVD, the researchers reported.

Aluisio and colleagues analyzed the cases of 424 EVD-positive patients, including 354 who were treated with IVF at some point during their admission to one of the units. Of these patients, 146 (41.3%) survived, whereas 31 (44.9%) patients not treated with IVF survived.

According to the study, a matched propensity score analysis found no significant difference in 28-day survival between cases treated and not treated with IVF during their first 24 and 48 hours of care, and survival analyses also found no significant difference in 28-day survival.

“This study provides the highest quality evidence to date on the impact of IVF on survival among patients with EVD in a low-resource, outbreak setting,” the authors concluded. “The analyses demonstrate that, when controlling for baseline and time-varying clinical characteristics and treatments, there were no significant differences in survival outcomes based on IVF treatment overall.” – by Caitlyn Stulpin

Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.