Fluids are divided into crystalloids (table 5) and colloids (table 6). Crystalloids are true chemical solutions whereas colloids contain elements that are in suspension and not true solution. If you shine a light through a colloid the light will be scattered (e.g. like a ray of sunlight in a smokey pub), this is termed the Tindel effect.
|Gelofusin||Made from degraded gelatin (formerly extracted from horses hooves), cheap, no chance of viral transmission, is cleared from the circulation in about 8 hours. No cross match required, on the shelf||Allergic reactions, good for volume but not oxygen carriage|
|Whole blood||Great for active blood loss,||Hard to come by as the blood bank likes to use this blood to get clotting factors and other goodies. Cross match required, emergency cross match takes 20-40 minutes.|
|Packed cells||Good to replace haemoglobin,||No clotting factors. Citrate is used as an anticoagulant and binds calcium so the recipient may get citrate toxicity / hypo calcaemia. Risk of viral transmission. Cross match required.|
|FFP||Replace clotting factors||Expensive, risk of viral transmission. Must be matched to blood type. Once unfrozen has to be given quickly or will go off.|