WHAT ARE PLASMA VOLUME EXPANDERS AND HOW DO THEY WORK?
Plasma volume expanders (PVEs) are fluids given intravenously to increase or retain the volume of fluid in the circulatory system. They are used to treat cardiogenic shock (a life-threatening condition in which the heart cannot pump enough blood that is needed by the body). PVEs are given to restore vascular volume that has been lost due to injury or any other medical condition. They stabilize the dynamics of blood flow and allow adequate fluid to pass through the circulatory system to organs and supply oxygen.
There are different types of PVEs such as:
Crystalloids: Crystalloids are aqueous solutions that contain mineral salts and other small water-soluble molecules. They are frequently used in the clinical setting as the first choice to increase intravascular volume and are given as nutrition to patients who are unable to intake food orally. They are also used to deliver intravenous medicines, increase filtration, and avoid renal toxicity. These fluids have the same concentration as plasma and do not produce any osmotic pressure. Crystalloids increase plasma volume without disturbing ions and do not cause significant changes in the fluid in intracellular (within a cell), intravascular (within a blood vessel), and interstitial spaces (space between cells).
Colloids: Colloids are a mixture of larger insoluble molecules, such as proteins, that are suspended in another substance and do not pass through capillary membranes. They are retained more easily in the intravascular space and increase osmotic pressure, so that fluid moves to the intravascular space from intracellular and interstitial spaces. Colloids are more effective for the resuscitation of plasma volume compared with crystalloids. The duration of action is also longer than that of crystalloids. They are very similar to blood containing albumin and plasma.
HOW ARE PLASMA VOLUME EXPANDERS USED?
Plasma volume expanders are used to treat:
- Shock (a life-threatening condition where the body does not get enough blood supply)
- Hypovolemia (decrease in the volume of blood in your body)
- Hemorrhage (massive bleeding from a ruptured blood vessel)
- Sepsis (life-threatening response to an infection)
- Dehydration (loss of body fluid)
- Fluid loss due to burns and injuries
- Fluid loss due to diarrhea and vomiting
- Hypernatremia (increase in sodium concentration in the blood)
- Hypoglycemia (decrease in blood sugar levels)
WHAT ARE SIDE EFFECTS OF PLASMA VOLUME EXPANDERS?
The side effects associated with crystalloid plasma volume expanders include:
- Fluid overload
- Life-threatening pulmonary edema (accumulation of fluid in lungs)
- Hyperchloremia (high chloride ion concentration in blood)
- Metabolic acidosis (caused because of loss of bicarbonates in urine)
- Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels)
- Hypotension (low blood pressure)
- The side effects associated with colloid plasma volume expanders include:
- Fever and chills
- Flu-like symptoms
- Bronchospasm (spasm of bronchus that leads to breathing difficulty)
- Swelling of salivary glands
- Urticaria (skin rash caused by food, medicine, or any irritant)
- Periorbital edema
- Anaphylactic reactions (severe allergic reactions)
- Acute renal failure
The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.
WHAT ARE DRUG NAMES OF PLASMA VOLUME EXPANDERS?
Drug names include: