Changes in intravenous fluid use patterns in Australia and New Zealand: Evidence of research translating into practice

Neil J. Glassford, Craig J. French, Michael Bailey, Johan Mårtensson, Glenn M. Eastwood, Rinaldo Bellomo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To describe changes in the use of intravenous (IV) fluid by quantity and type in different regions of Australia and New Zealand. Design, setting and participants: We conducted a retrospective ecological study examining regional and temporal trends in IV fluid consumption across Australia and New Zealand over the periods 2012-2013 and 2013- 2014, using national proprietary sales data as a surrogate for consumption, and demographic data from the public domain. Results: More than 13.3 million litres of IV fluid were consumed in Australia and New Zealand in 2012-2013, and more than 13.9 million litres in 2013-2014, with colloid solutions accounting for < 2%. There was marked regional variation in consumption of fluids, by volumes and proportions used, when standardised to overall Australian and New Zealand values. There was no significant change in the overall volume of crystalloid solutions consumed but there was a significant decrease (9%; P = 0.02) in the ratio of unbalanced to balanced crystalloid solutions consumed. Consumption of all forms of colloid solutions decreased, with a 12% reduction overall (P = 0.02), primarily driven by a 67% reduction in the consumption of hydroxyethyl starch (HES) solutions. Conclusions: The amount and type of IV fluid use, as determined by fluid sales, is highly variable across Australia and New Zealand. However, overall use of balanced crystalloid solutions is increasing and the use of HES has decreased dramatically.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-88
Number of pages11
JournalCritical Care and Resuscitation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016

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