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The role of synthetic colloids for the volume resuscitation of critically ill adults
  1. Tom Williams,
  2. Robert Parker
  1. Department of Critical Care Medicine, Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool, United Kingdom
  1. Correspondence to Dr Tom Williams, Department of Critical Care Medicine, Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Lower Lane, Liverpool L9 7AL, UK; tom.williams{at}aintree.nhs.uk

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The effective management of critically ill patients should be a continuum stretching from the prehospital environment through the emergency department to the critical care unit. Fluid resuscitation to increase circulating volume is a core part of acute care to treat hypovolaemia, hypotension and shock. It has formed a key component of campaigns to improve patient outcomes.1

Traditionally the fluid administered has been a crystalloid (0.9% saline or a ‘balanced’ fluid eg, Hartmann's solution), synthetic colloid (hydroxyethylstarch (HES) or gelatin) or rarely human albumin solution. Use of colloids varies across the world, starches are more common in Continental Europe, …

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