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, 18 (1), 93

Crystalloid Resuscitation in Trauma Patients: Deleterious Effect of 5L or More in the First 24h


Crystalloid Resuscitation in Trauma Patients: Deleterious Effect of 5L or More in the First 24h

D G Jones et al. BMC Surg.


Background: Over-aggressive intravenous fluid therapy with crystalloids has adverse effects in trauma patients. We assessed the role of large-volume (≥5l) administration of crystalloids within 24h of injury as an independent risk-factor for mortality, in-hospital complications, and prolonged mechanical ventilation.

Methods: A retrospective cohort analysis of adult trauma patients admitted to a level 1-trauma center between December 2011 and December 2012. Patient demographics, clinical and laboratory values, and total resuscitation fluid administered within the first 24h of injury were obtained. Outcomes included mortality, in-hospital complications and ventilator-days. Multivariable logistic regression and Poisson regression analyses were performed to investigate any association between the administration of ≥5L crystalloids with the aforementioned outcomes while controlling for selected clinical variables.

Results: A total of 970 patients were included in the analysis. 264 (27%) received ≥5L of crystalloids in the first 24h of injury. 118 (12%) had in-hospital complications and 337 (35%) required mechanical ventilation. The median age was 46 years (interquartile range (IQR) 27-65) years and 73% (n = 708) were males. The median injury severity score (ISS) was 17 (IQR 9-25). Overall mortality rate was 7% (n = 67). Multivariable logistic regression analysis showed several variables independently associated with mortality (p < 0.05), including resuscitation with ≥5L crystalloid in the first 24h (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 2.55), older age (aOR 1.03), higher ISS (aOR 1.09), and lower temperature (aOR 0.68). The variables independently associated with in-hospital complications (p < 0.05) were older age, longer ICU stay, and platelet transfusion within 24h of the injury. Need for mechanical ventilation was more common in patients who received ≥5L crystalloids (RR 2.31) had higher ISS (RR 1.02), developed in-hospital complications (RR 1.91) and had lower presenting temperature (RR 0.87).

Conclusion: Large-volume crystalloid resuscitation is associated with increased mortality and longer time ventilated, but not with in-hospital complications such as pneumonia and sepsis. Based on this data, we recommend judicious use of crystalloids in the resuscitation of trauma patients.

Keywords: Crystalloids; Emergency; Fluid resuscitation; Outcomes; Trauma.

Conflict of interest statement

Ethics approval and consent to participate

The study was approved by the research ethics board (REB) of St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Canada. The patients’ concern has not been needed because of the retrospective nature of the study.

Consent for publication

Not applicable.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

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