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Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2006 Aug 1;24(3):493-6.

Personal view: crystalloid transfusion in acute gastrointestinal haemorrhage: is it beneficial? An historical perspective.

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1
Division of Clinical Practice and Population Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, Newcastle University, Newcastle, NSW, Australia. duggan@hunterlink.net.au

Abstract

The conventional management of acute gastrointestinal haemorrhage mandates early repletion of blood volume with crystalloids and blood, as part of the initial management, where there is evidence of hypovolaemia. Meanwhile there is a major trend towards a restrained use of fluid to raise blood pressure to near normal for the bleeding patient in trauma and similar emergencies. This divergence of view requires analysis. An Ovid/MEDLINE, Google and extensive literature search focused on the resuscitation and transfusion of bleeding trauma patients was performed. In addition to clear evidence from animal experiments that early restoration of blood volume perpetuates bleeding, there is considerable evidence in humans - both in war and civilian life - that rapid crystalloid infusion is harmful. I also report a personal series of benefit from restricted transfusion in acute upper gastrointestinal haemorrhage in humans. Given the lack of evidence of benefit for rapid blood volume repletion in acute gastrointestinal haemorrhage, there is need for controlled studies of the most appropriate approach to crystalloid transfusion in acute gastrointestinal bleeding.

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