Colloids versus crystalloids for fluid resuscitation in critically ill patients

Added April 9, 2013

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There is no evidence that resuscitation with colloids reduces the risk of death, compared to resuscitation with crystalloids, in patients with trauma, burns or following surgery. Furthermore, the use of hydroxyethyl starch might increase mortality. As colloids are not associated with an improvement in survival and are considerably more expensive than crystalloids, it is hard to see how their continued use in clinical practice can be justified.

Colloid solutions are widely used in fluid resuscitation of critically ill patients. There are several choices of colloid, and debate is ongoing about the relative effectiveness of colloids compared with crystalloid fluids. This review assesses the effects of colloids compared to crystalloids for fluid resuscitation in critically ill patients.