Prehospital Intravenous Fluid Administration Is Associated With Higher Mortality in Trauma Patients: A National Trauma Data Bank Analysis

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The administration of intravenous (IV) fluids has been a key component of the prehospital treatment of trauma patients since the advent of paramedic emergency medical systems (EMS). Prehospital IV fluid resuscitation is intended to hemodynamically stabilize trauma patients by replacing intravascular volume and maintaining vital organ perfusion.1 Since its inception, the American College of Surgeons Advanced Trauma Life Support course has emphasized immediate treatment of trauma patients with IV fluids, although in the newest eighth edition, the course now emphasizes a more “balanced” approach.2 The routine practice of IV fluid administration in the prehospital arena is touted with great enthusiasm but little data exist to support its use.
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