Intended for healthcare professionals


Crystalloid, colloid, albumin?

BMJ 1998; 317 doi: (Published 25 July 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:0

Arguments over whether to resuscitate critically ill patients with crystalloid or colloid have been raging for over a century (p 277). This week's BMJ undoubtedly contributes to the volume and heat of the debate. We hope that it also helps to begin the resolution of this longstanding controversy.

The centrepiece of the contributions is a systematic review showing that giving albumin to critically ill patients with hypovolaemia, burns, or hypoalbuminaemia increases mortality (p 235). Every 100 patients treated means six more deaths. If true, this is deeply disturbing …

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