n South African Medical Journal - Starch safety in resuscitation
Response : correspondence

Volume 103, Issue 9
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



The Western Cape Department of Health (WC DoH) has taken a decision to withdraw all intravenous fluids (IVFs) containing hydroxyethyl starch (HES) from hospitals in the Western Cape, with similar action contemplated in the Free State and Gauteng. This was in response to recommendations from:

  1. The European Medicines Agency's Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (EMA PRAC) that HES IVFs be withdrawn from clinical use.
  2. The United Kingdom Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) which has issued a recall of all HES IVFs in the UK.
  3. The United States Food and Drug Administration which advises that HES IVFs be used with caution in ICU, cardiac surgery and patients with known kidney disease or coagulopathy. Further advice was that HES should be stopped if coagulopathy or renal dysfunction develops, as well as that renal function should be monitored for 90 days after HES administration.

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