Is There a Place for Crystalloids and Colloids in Remote Damage Control Resuscitation?

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Abstract

Crystalloids and colloids are used in prehospital fluid resuscitation to replace blood loss and preserve tissue perfusion until definite surgical control of bleeding can be achieved. However, large volumes of fluids will increase bleeding by elevating blood pressure, dislodging blood clots, and diluting coagulation factors and platelets. Hypotensive fluid resuscitation strategies are used to avoid worsening of uncontrolled bleeding. This is largely supported by animal studies. Most clinical evidence suggests that restricting fluid therapy is associated with improved outcome. Remote damage control resuscitation emphasizes the early use of blood products and restriction of other fluids to support coagulation and tissue oxygenation. Controversy regarding the optimal choice and composition of resuscitation fluids is ongoing. Compared with crystalloids, less colloid is needed for the same expansion of intravascular volume. On the other hand, colloids may cause coagulopathy not only related to dilution. The most important advantage of using colloids is logistical because less volume and weight are needed. In conclusion, prehospital fluid resuscitation is considered the standard of care, but there is little clinical evidence supporting the use of either crystalloids or colloids in remote damage control resuscitation. Alternative resuscitation fluids are needed.

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