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Over the last ten years more reliable information regarding the risks and benefits of the use of albumin for fluid resuscitation has emerged. To determine what influence this has had on clinical practice, we sought to document albumin use (from mass of albumin supplied to hospitals) in 16 industrialised countries between 1995 and 2006. Data on national albumin and synthetic colloid use was sought from independent intensive care researchers and albumin issuers. The mass of albumin supplied per 10,000 persons on an annual basis by country and aggregated across the study countries was calculated. Volumes of synthetic colloid supplied per 10,000 persons were calculated. Data were obtained for 15 countries. Albumin use varied significantly between countries and throughout the observation period. Overall, aggregate albumin use decreased from a peak of 2.54 kg per 10,000 persons in 1995 to 1.40 kg per 10,000 persons in 1999; use has remained relatively constant since. Data on supply of synthetic colloids was available in only three countries and varied from 11.7 litres per 10,000 persons in Canada in 1995, to 231.8 litres per 10,000 persons in Denmark in 2004. Between 1995 and 1999 albumin use decreased and has been materially constant since; where data were available, use of synthetic colloids increased. Whether these practice changes have resulted in a net health gain or in harm requires further research.


Journal article


Anaesth Intensive Care

Publication Date





266 - 273


Albumins/*administration & dosage Colloids/administration & dosage *Fluid Therapy Humans Time Factors