Debate: Albumin administration should not be avoided.

Allison SP, Lobo DN. 

Crit Care 2000;4:147–50

Clinical Nutrition Unit, University Hospital, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, UK. simon.allison@mail.qmcuh-tr.trent.nhs.uk

The recent Cochrane report on albumin administration is analysed and criticised on the grounds of clinical methodology, content and interpretation. Although it is naive and illogical to treat hypoalbuminaemia with albumin infusions, a more balanced view on the use of albumin for resuscitation in acute hypovolaemia is necessary. Once the acute phase of critical illness is past, interstitial volume is often expanded causing oedema, with a low plasma volume. We argue for the use of salt-poor albumin solutions in this situation and conclude that, on current evidence, the assertion that albumin should be avoided in all situations is irrational and untenable.

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