Prehospital intravenous fluid is associated with increased survival in trauma patients

J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2013 Jul;75(1 Suppl 1):S9-15. doi: 10.1097/TA.0b013e318290cd52.


Background: Delivery of intravenous crystalloid fluids (IVF) remains a tradition-based priority during prehospital resuscitation of trauma patients. Hypotensive and targeted resuscitation algorithms have been shown to improve patient outcomes. We hypothesized that receiving any prehospital IVF is associated with increased survival in trauma patients compared with receiving no prehospital IVF.

Methods: Prospective data from 10 Level 1 trauma centers were collected. Patient demographics, prehospital IVF volume, prehospital and emergency department vital signs, lifesaving interventions, laboratory values, outcomes, and complications were collected and analyzed. Patients who did or did not receive prehospital IVF were compared. Tests for nonparametric data were used to assess significant differences between groups (p ≤ 0.05). Cox regression analyses were performed to determine the independent influence of IVF on outcome and complications.

Results: The study population consisted of 1,245 trauma patients; 45 were excluded owing to incomplete data; 84% (n = 1,009) received prehospital IVF, and 16% (n = 191) did not. There was no difference between the groups with respect to sex, age, and Injury Severity Score (ISS). The on-scene systolic blood pressure was lower in the IVF group (110 mm Hg vs. 100 mm Hg, p < 0.04) and did not change significantly after IVF, measured at emergency department admission (110 mm Hg vs. 105 mm Hg, p = 0.05). Hematocrit/hemoglobin, fibrinogen, and platelets were lower (p < 0.05), and prothrombin time/international normalized ratio and partial thromboplastin time were higher (p < 0.001) in the IVF group. The IVF group received a median fluid volume of 700 mL (interquartile range, 300-1,300). The Cox regression revealed that prehospital fluid administration was associated with increased survival (hazard ratio, 0.84; 95% confidence interval, 0.72-0.98; p = 0.03). Site differences in ISS and fluid volumes were demonstrated (p < 0.001).

Conclusion: Prehospital IVF volumes commonly used by PRospective Observational Multicenter Massive Transfusion Study (PROMMTT) investigators do not result in increased systolic blood pressure but are associated with decreased in-hospital mortality in trauma patients compared with patients who did not receive prehospital IVF.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Crystalloid Solutions
  • Emergency Medical Services / methods*
  • Emergency Medical Services / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Fluid Therapy / adverse effects
  • Fluid Therapy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Isotonic Solutions / administration & dosage*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Resuscitation / methods*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Survival Rate
  • Trauma Centers*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / mortality
  • Wounds and Injuries / therapy*


  • Crystalloid Solutions
  • Isotonic Solutions