Choosing the Right Intravenous Fluids

A recent “SALT-ED” study (WH Self et al. NEJM 2018; 378: 819-28) with more than 13,000 noncritically-ill adults indicated that patients who received normal saline had increased incidence of major adverse kidney events compared to those who received more balanced fluids like lactated Ringers’ or Plasma-Lyte A.

A 2 min quick take summary:Comparison of Crystalloids and Saline for Noncritically Ill

In a separate “SMART” study (MW Semler et al. NEJM 2018; 378: 829-39), investigators looked at balanced crystalloids versus saline in critically-ill adults (n=15,802).  The use of balanced crystalloids (compared to saline) resulted in a lower rate of mortality (10.3% vs 11.1%, P=.06) and fewer major adverse kidney events (14.3% vs. 15.4%, P=.04).


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