The effect of prehospital fluids on survival in trauma patients

J Trauma. 1990 Oct;30(10):1215-8; discussion 1218-9. doi: 10.1097/00005373-199010000-00005.


The effect of prehospital intravenous fluids upon survival was studied in 6,855 trauma patients. Mean prehospital time was 36 minutes in both the group of patients who received fluids and the group that did not. The volume of fluid administered was not significantly different in the group who survived compared to those who died. Eighty-five per cent of the patients had an Injury Severity Score (ISS) less than 25 and the mortality rate in the 56% of patients in this group who received fluids was similar to that of the patients who did not receive fluids (0.7% vs. 0.5%). Twelve per cent of the patients had an ISS between 25 and 50. Sixty per cent of these patients received fluids and the mortality rates were similar to the patients who received fluids compared to those who did not (23% vs. 22%). Three per cent of patients had an ISS of greater than 50 and the mortality rate was highest in this group but was not influenced by the administration of fluids (90% vs. 86%). Comparison of groups with similar probability of survival according to the TRISS methodology also failed to show an influence of fluid administration on survival. The mortality rate in patients with an initial systolic blood pressure (BP) of 90 torr or greater was compared to the rate in patients with an admission BP less than 90 torr. Although hypotension was associated with a significantly higher mortality rate, the administration of fluids had no influence on this rate.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • California / epidemiology
  • Emergency Medical Services*
  • Female
  • Fluid Therapy*
  • Humans
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Male
  • Probability
  • Time Factors
  • Wounds and Injuries / mortality
  • Wounds and Injuries / therapy*