Key messages

• The pharmacology of crystalloid solutions depends primarily on their salt content and osmolality.

• Approximately 20 to 25 per cent of infused 0.9 per cent saline will remain intravascular, whereas approximately 10 per cent of infused 5 per cent glucose will remain intravascular.

• Crystalloid fluids are used to provide the daily requirements of water and electrolytes.

• Smaller volumes of colloid are required for resuscitation with less contribution to edema.

• The volume required for correction of hypovolemia is determined by the hemodynamic effect of the fluid given.

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