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BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 01 May 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:1214

Use of human albumin in UK fell substantially when systematic review was published

  1. Ian Roberts, Director (,
  2. Philip Edwards, Data manager,
  3. Brian McLelland, Director
  1. Child Health Monitoring Unit, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Institute of Child Health, London WC1N 1EH
  2. Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service, Headquarters Unit, Edinburgh EH17 7QT
  3. Department of Burns and Plastic Surgery, Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast BT12 6BA

    EDITOR—After publication of the Cochrane Injuries Group Albumin Reviewers' systematic review of albumin administration in critically ill patients1 the Committee on Safety of Medicines convened an expert working party to consider the implications for the use of albumin in the United Kingdom. To date the committee has not made any announcement. The results of the review were widely reported in the medical and lay press,2 and this may have influenced the use of albumin.

    We requested data on the monthly issues of albumin solutions to regional blood centres and hospitals between 1993 and 1999 from the Bio Products Laboratory (which serves England and Wales) and the Protein Fractionation Centre of the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (which serves Scotland and Northern Ireland). Issues were expressed in kg of albumin, reflecting the total albumin content of the various dose units. A …

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