Choosing a volume expander in critical care medicine

  • Niranjan Kissoon
  • Desmond Bohn
Special Article


The debate concerning the choice of crystalloids or colloids for resuscitation of the critically ill child is still unsettled. Moreover, the use of albumin in critically ill patients has been increasingly questioned because of the lack of clear-cut advantages over crystalloids as well as the concern for cost and the very minor risk of infection. Despite several meta-analyses addressing these issues, there is no data that supports the use of albumin unequivocally in any specific disease states. The suggestion that the use of albumin increases mortality in critically ill patients is not supported by data. There may be niche areas such as hypoalbuminic states, cirrhosis and burns where albumin may have distinct benefits. Alternatively synthetic colloids may be useful, however, concerns about coagulation problems and organ dysfunction persists.

Key words

Albumin Crystalloids Colloids Volume expansion 


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Copyright information

© Dr. K C Chaudhuri Foundation 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Pediatric Critical Care MedicineUniversity of Florida HSC/JacksonvilleJacksonvilleUSA
  2. 2.The Hospital for Sick ChildrenTorontoCanada

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