American College of Emergency Physicians

View all recommendations from this society

October 14, 2013

Avoid instituting intravenous (IV) fluids before doing a trial of oral rehydration therapy in uncomplicated emergency department cases of mild to moderate dehydration in children.

Many children who come to the emergency department with dehydration require fluid replacement. To avoid the pain and potential complications of an IV catheter, it is preferable to give these fluids by mouth. Giving a medication for nausea may allow patients with nausea and vomiting to accept fluid replenishment orally. This strategy can eliminate the need for an IV. It is best to give these medications early during the ED visit, rather than later, in order to allow time for them to work optimally.


These items are provided solely for informational purposes and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their physician.

How The List Was Created

1–5: The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) developed five Choosing Wisely® recommendations through a multi-step process that included input from ACEP members, an expert panel of emergency physicians and the ACEP Board of Directors. In 2012, ACEP appointed a task force to address cost effective emergency care. The Cost Effective Care Task Force conducted a survey that was open to all ACEP members asking for strategies to reduce cost and improve value in emergency medicine. The task force received over 200 individual suggestions, which were grouped into a set of strategies. A technical expert panel, including representatives from all aspects of emergency medicine practice, reviewed and prioritized the recommendations using a modified Delphi technique. The panel prioritized the strategies using multiple rounds of voting based on contribution to cost reduction, benefit to patients and actionability by emergency physicians. A literature review including data on cost was assembled for the highest-rated strategies. Strategies were further refined and a final list of strategies that received majority support of the panelists was created. Five of these were ultimately selected by the Board of Directors to be included in Choosing Wisely®.

6–10: The entire ACEP membership (30,000+) was surveyed and given an opportunity to provide input on what in their view would be cost effective and improve the quality of patient care. A Delphi panel of emergency physicians was convened and the list was winnowed using the Delphi process to the top twelve. To be included in the top twelve, there must be research to demonstrate cost effectiveness and improvement of patient care if implemented with reason, caution and explanation to the patient. Also of importance was the consideration that the recommendations would be or are also in concert with some of the other specialties participating in the Choosing Wisely® campaign.

ACEP’s disclosure and conflict of interest policy can be found at www.acep.org.

Sources

Szajewska H, Gieruszcak-Bialek D, Dylag M. Meta-analysis: ondansetron for vomiting in acute gastroenteritis in children. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2007;25:393–400.

Roslund G, Hepps T, McQuillen K. The role of oral ondanestron in children with vomiting as a result of acute gastritis/gastroenteritis who have failed oral rehydration therapy: a randomized controlled trial. Ann Emerg Med. 2008;52(1); 22–9.

Hartling L, Bellemare S, Wiebe N, Russell K, Klassen TP, Craig W. Oral versus intravenous rehydration for treating dehydration due to gastroenteritis in children. Cochrane Database System Rev. 2006;19(3):CD004390.