PlasmaLyte is a family of balanced crystalloid solutions with multiple different formulations available worldwide according to regional clinical practices and preferences. It closely mimics human plasma in its content of electrolytes, osmolality, and pH. These solutions also have additional buffer capacity and contain anions such as acetate, gluconate, and even lactate that are converted to bicarbonate, CO2, and water. The advantages of PlasmaLyte include volume and electrolyte deficit correction while addressing acidosis. It shares the same problems as most other crystalloid fluids (fluid overload, edema with weight gain, lung edema, and worsening of the intracranial pressure). A unique concern is that most formulations contain magnesium, which may affect peripheral vascular resistance, heart rate, and worsen organ ischemia. There are few studies on its use in trauma or hypovolemic shock. There is no evidence that PlasmaLyte is superior to other crystalloids for the prehospital management of traumatic hypovolemia.
From the Department of Surgery & Critical Care Medicine, University of Toronto; Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Submitted for publication February 11, 2011.
Accepted for publication March 14, 2011.
Address for reprints: Sandro Rizoli, MD, PhD, FRCSC, FACS, Department of Surgery & Critical Care Medicine, University of Toronto; Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, 2075 Bayview Ave, Suite H171, Toronto, ON M4N 3M5, Canada; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.