Saline versus plasma-lyte A in initial resuscitation of trauma patients: A randomized trial

Jason B. Young, Garth H Utter, Carol R. Schermer, Joseph M Galante, Ho H Phan, Yifan Yang, Brock A. Anderson, Lynette A. Scherer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

144 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE:: We sought to compare resuscitation with 0.9% NaCl versus Plasma-Lyte A, a calcium-free balanced crystalloid solution, hypothesizing that Plasma-Lyte A would better correct the base deficit 24 hours after injury. BACKGROUND:: Sodium chloride (0.9%) (0.9% NaCl), though often used for resuscitation of trauma patients, may exacerbate the metabolic acidosis that occurs with injury, and this acidosis may have detrimental clinical effects. METHODS:: We conducted a randomized, double-blind, parallel-group trial (NCT01270854) of adult trauma patients requiring blood transfusion, intubation, or operation within 60 minutes of arrival at the University of California Davis Medical Center. Based on a computer-generated, blocked sequence, subjects received either 0.9% NaCl or Plasma-Lyte A for resuscitation during the first 24 hours after injury. The primary outcome was mean change in base excess from 0 to 24 hours. Secondary outcomes included 24-hour arterial pH, serum electrolytes, fluid balance, resource utilization, and in-hospital mortality. RESULTS:: Of 46 evaluable subjects (among 65 randomized), 43% had penetrating injuries, injury severity score was 23 ± 16, 20% had admission systolic blood pressure less than 90 mm Hg, and 78% required an operation within 60 minutes of arrival. The baseline pH was 7.27 ± 0.11 and base excess-5.9 ± 5.0 mmol/L. The mean improvement in base excess from 0 to 24 hours was significantly greater with Plasma-Lyte A than with 0.9% NaCl {7.5 ± 4.7 vs 4.4 ± 3.9 mmol/L; difference: 3.1 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.5-5.6]}. At 24 hours, arterial pH was greater [7.41 ± 0.06 vs 7.37 ± 0.07; difference: 0.05 (95% CI: 0.01-0.09)] and serum chloride was lower [104 ± 4 vs 111 ± 8 mEq/L; difference:-7 (95% CI:-10 to-3)] with Plasma-Lyte A than with 0.9% NaCl. Volumes of study fluid administered, 24-hour urine output, measures of resource utilization, and mortality did not significantly differ between the 2 arms. CONCLUSIONS:: Compared with 0.9% NaCl, resuscitation of trauma patients with Plasma-Lyte A resulted in improved acid-base status and less hyperchloremia at 24 hours postinjury. Further studies are warranted to evaluate whether resuscitation with Plasma-Lyte A improves clinical outcomes. Randomized controlled trial, level I. ( Record UCDIRB-200917793.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-262
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • 0.9% sodium chloride
  • hyperchloremic acidosis
  • Plasma-Lyte A
  • resuscitation
  • trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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