Intravenous Fluids: Composition and Indications

  • Alluru S. ReddiEmail author


This chapter reviews various fluids available for intravenous (IV) administration. The IV fluids can be broadly divided into two categories: crystalloids and colloids. Crystalloid solutions contain water, electrolytes, and/or glucose, whereas colloids include mostly albumin and blood products. IV solutions can be isotonic, hypotonic, or hypertonic. In general, isotonic solutions are used to treat extracellular fluid (ECF) volume depletion, hypotonic solutions to replace ECF and intracellular fluid (ICF) water loss, and hypertonic solutions to correct symptomatic hyponatremia. Hypertonic saline is often used in trauma settings because it decreases the intracranial pressure in patients with head trauma and for patients following burns. It is important to know the composition of commonly used crystalloids and colloids before we understand their indications.


Intravenous fluids Crystalloid IV fluids Colloid IV fluids Volume contraction Fluid management in the elderly 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medicine Division of Nephrology and HypertensionRutgers New Jersey Medical SchoolNewarkUSA

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