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The effects of commonly used resuscitation fluids on whole blood coagulation
  1. T J Coats1,
  2. E Brazil2,
  3. M Heron3
  1. 1Academic Unit of Emergency Medicine, Leicester University, Leicester, UK
  2. 2Emergency Department, Mater Misericordiae Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  3. 3Accident and Emergency Department, Royal London Hospital, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor T J Coats
 Professor of Emergency Medicine, Leicester University, Leicester Royal Infirmary, Infirmary Square, Leicester LE 1 5WW, UK; t.coats{at}


Objectives: Evidence on the effect of crystalloid and colloid resuscitation fluids on coagulation is confusing, with contradictory results from previous studies. This study was performed to test the effect on whole blood coagulation of a range of resuscitation fluids in vitro using a single method at a single dilution.

Methods: Seven resuscitation fluids were tested in vitro at a dilution of 40%. Whole blood coagulation was measured using a Sonoclot analyser.

Results: A crystalloid/colloid split of effect on coagulation in vitro was not seen. The time to clot formation with Gelofusine, dextran and hydroxyethyl starch was a greatly increased, whereas saline and Haemaccel had little effect, or were slightly procoagulant.

Conclusions: Some resuscitation fluids have a profound effect on coagulation. The confusion in the literature may result from the effect on coagulation being both fluid and dilution dependent, with no simple crystalloid/colloid split.

  • ACT, activated clotting time
  • CR, clot rate
  • ED, emergency department
  • EP, emergency physician
  • TEG, thromboelastography
  • TTP, time to peak
  • fluid therapy
  • resuscitation
  • whole blood coagulation

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  • Competing interestst: there are no competing interests.