-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, Oct. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Early administration of
hypertonic fluids after a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI)
doesn't improve patient outcomes, a new study finds.
Hypertonic fluids are solutions that contain increased
concentrations of certain electrolytes and are believed to help
reduce intracranial pressure following a brain injury.
Previous research has suggested early administration of
hypertonic fluids to severe TBI patients may improve the likelihood
of survival, but there have been no definitive findings from large
This new study included 1,087 patients with severe TBI who did
not have shock caused by blood loss (hypovolemic shock). Some
patients received hypertonic fluids before they arrived at hospital
while others received normal saline solution.
After six months, both groups of patients had similar survival
and disability rates, according to the report published in the Oct.
6 issue of the
Journal of the American Medical Association.
"In summary, in this randomized controlled trial, we were unable to demonstrate any improvement in 6-month neurologic outcome or survival for trauma patients with presumed severe TBI without evidence of hypovolemic shock," wrote Dr. Eileen M. Bulger, of Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, and colleagues, noting that the patients all received a single large dose of the hypertonic fluids, compared with normal saline, in a setting outside the hospital.
"While this does not preclude a benefit from such treatment were it administered differently, at present there appears to be no compelling reason to adopt a practice of hypertonic fluid resuscitation for TBI in the out-of-hospital setting," she concluded.
The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
has more about
traumatic brain injury.
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