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EMA calls for hydroxyethyl starch solutions to be taken off market

BMJ 2018; 360 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k225 (Published 16 January 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:k225
  1. Deborah Cohen
  1. London, UK

Hydroxyethyl starch (HES) solutions for infusion should be removed from the market across Europe because they carry “serious risks,” the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has said.

Hydroxyethyl starch solutions are colloids used for plasma volume replacement following acute blood loss. They have been used instead of crystalloids—such as saline—to prevent shock.

In 2013, the EMA said that the products should not be used to treat critically ill patients or patients with sepsis, after trials found an increased risk …

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