The appropriate intravenous therapy for injured patients is controversial. Use of colloid-containing solutions has been advocated in an attempt to maintain intravascular colloid osmotic pressure, minimize pulmonary oedema and draw fluid out of areas of contused lung. Studies of animals with lymph fistulas in the lung do not support such therapy and there is no difference between lung water volumes in animals resuscitated for 3 hours with colloid as opposed to crystalloid solutions after a standardized traumatic insult (colloid = 8.4 + 0.8 ml/kg; crystalloid = 7.5 + 0.6 ml/kg). Increased pulmonary capillary permeability makes such therapeutic attempts to 'dry out' the lungs even less effective. Studies in human patients of the rate of extravasation of labelled albumin from the pulmonary intravascular space indicate that increased permeability of pulmonary capillaries occurs early after injury and remains elevated in many severely injured patients. Low plasma colloid osmotic pressures do not correlate with increases in extravascular lung water. A shift to the use of vigorous crystalloid resuscitation of injured patients at our institution has resulted in decreases in both mortality rate (1976-1979, 35 per cent; 1979-1981, 28 per cent) and the rate of dialysis-dependent renal failure (1976-1979, 6 per cent; 1979-1981, 2 per cent). Current evidence supports the use of crystalloid solutions together with blood for resuscitation after injury.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine