Are we close to the ideal intravenous fluid?
i63 - i71
Br J Anaesth
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The approach to i.v. fluid therapy for hypovolaemia may significantly influence outcomes for patients who experience a systemic inflammatory response after sepsis, trauma, or major surgery. Currently, there is no single i.v. fluid agent that meets all the criteria for the ideal treatment for hypovolaemia. The physician must choose the best available agent(s) for each patient, and then decide when and how much to administer. Findings from large randomized trials suggest that some colloid-based fluids, particularly starch-based colloids, may be harmful in some situations, but it is unclear whether they should be withdrawn from use completely. Meanwhile, crystalloid fluids, such as saline 0.9% and Ringer's lactate, are more frequently used, but debate continues over which preparation is preferable. Perhaps most importantly, it remains unclear how to select the optimal dose of fluid in different patients and different clinical scenarios. There is good reason to believe that both inadequate and excessive i.v. fluid administration may lead to poor outcomes, including increased risk of infection and organ dysfunction, for hypovolaemic patients. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on this topic and identify some key pitfalls and some areas of agreed best practice.