Hey, I'm trying to write a 3 page essay in one of my EMS classes comparing Colloids vs. Crystalloids. I can't find  hardly any material and no I'm stuck. I've come up with these three categories to compare- 

1) mortality rate as compared to pts on the other type of therapy

2) field practicality- which is easier to use in different fields

3) cost effectiveness

Any tips? ideas? resources?

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There are plenty of colloid vs. crystalloid comparisons available with a Medline search, though you'll probably have to do it from a proper library with subscriptions to medical journals--if you're trying to do it from home, you'll run into a lot of articles behind pay walls. Almost none of them will be EMS specific, but hey, at least it's something.

The prices could probably be found by going to a medical supply website that does more than EMS supplies (so something like Moore Medical might have colloid prices, while Dixie EMS probably wouldn't).

First you have to orient yourself to the basics.....the difference between crystalloids and colloids, and there indications for use. I am an ED registered nurse with tons of critical care experience, so first and foremost when it comes to cost effectiveness crsytalloids are where it's at, but if you are going to treat the patient first why would you even worry about that.....colloids are your major intravascular loss expanders....blood products....packed cells, albumin, plasma and platelets....do you really use those in the field? Crystalloids are your saline and lacted ringers.....these will spill over into the extracellular space so you need to be careful you don't put someone into CHF or pulmonary edema....it all depends on the presentation of the patient...do your research on the basics.

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