What Is a Fluid Challenge?

A fluid challenge is a technique used to evaluate fluid responsiveness among critically ill patients. It is a diagnostic intervention practice that corrects volume depletion without risking fluid overload, according to the United States National Library of Medicine.

One of the pioneering proponents of the fluid challenge was Dr. Max Harry Weil, a prominent figure in critical care medicine. The method was initially used to revive patients under circulatory shock, states SUNY Downtown Medical Center.

A fluid challenge involves the administration of a predetermined small quantity of fluid over a short span of time while keeping track of the patient's cardiac parameters. The response of the patient provides an indicator whether to continue further fluid replacements.