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For Trauma Patients, Less May Be More

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- One of the standard steps in most trauma care situations has long been to give the patient fluids by IV.  But new research published in The Annals of Surgery calls that into question.

The research involved analyzing complete records of more than 11,000 patients in a national database, dating from 2001 - 2005.  With nearly every type of traumatic injury or condition, researchers said the risk of death increases when intravenous fluids are administered.  Those with severe head injuries were 34 percent more likely to die if they had been given fluids, for example.

Among the theories behind such numbers is the possibility that taking time to set up the IV delays transport to the hospital and that giving fluids may cause the release of a blood clot or may increase blood loss.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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