Cochrane Summaries

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Are colloids more effective than crystalloids in reducing death in people who are critically ill or injured?

Perel P, Roberts I, Ker K
Published Online: 
28 March 2013

Trauma, burns or surgery can cause people to lose large amounts of blood. Fluid replacement, giving fluids intravenously (into a vein) to replace lost blood, is used to try to maintain blood pressure and reduce the risk of dying. Blood products, non-blood products or combinations are used, including colloid or crystalloid solutions. Colloids are increasingly used but they are more expensive than crystalloids. This review of trials found no evidence that colloids reduce the risk of dying compared with crystalloids, and one type of colloid (starches) might increase the risk of death.