More Questions About IV Drug

Another clinical trial raises concerns about the efficacy and safety of a common intravenous treatment for patients that have lost large amounts of blood.

By | October 18, 2012

Wikimedia, MichaelberryHydroxyethyl starch (HES), which is typically given to emergency room patients that have lost a lot of blood or are suffering systemic infection, is under the microscope again after recent clinical trial results indicate that the treatment may do more harm than good. The new data, published yesterday in The New England Journal of Medicine, indicated that of more than 6,600 patients treated with HES in intensive care units in Australia and New Zealand, 18 percent treated with HES died within 90 days compared to 17 percent treated with simple saline solution. Though that result isn't statistically significant, patients receiving HES were also more likely to require kidney replacement than patients receiving saline, and HES-treated patients experienced significantly higher rates of adverse events such as itching and bleeding.

"We need to consider more closely what fluid we give to specific patients and how much," lead author John Myburgh of The George Institute for Global Health in Sydney, Australia, told ScienceNOW. "These are really intravenous drugs and should be treated as such."

These latest data add to a body of literature that suggests problems with HES treatment. This past June, a Danish study suggested that patients receiving HES were significantly more likely to die within 90 days or to require kidney transplants than those getting an alternative solution called Ringer's acetate. That study kicked up controversy over a misplaced decimal point, which was subsequently corrected, and led the US Food and Drug Administration to consider discontinuing HES treatment for infection patients.

Add a Comment

Avatar of: You



Sign In with your LabX Media Group Passport to leave a comment

Not a member? Register Now!

LabX Media Group Passport Logo

Popular Now

  1. Broad Wins CRISPR Patent Interference Case
    Daily News Broad Wins CRISPR Patent Interference Case

    The USPTO’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board has ruled in favor of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard retaining intellectual property rights covered by its patents for CRISPR gene-editing technology.

  2. Henrietta Lacks’s Family Seeks Compensation
  3. Humans Never Stopped Evolving
    Features Humans Never Stopped Evolving

    The emergence of blood abnormalities, an adult ability to digest milk, and changes in our physical appearance point to the continued evolution of the human race.

  4. Abundant Sequence Errors in Public Databases
Business Birmingham