n South African Medical Journal - Hydroxyethyl starches in severe burns : correspondence




The Medicines Control Council of South Africa recently lifted the suspension on the use of all medicines containing hydroxyethyl starch (HES), with the exclusion of, among other contraindications, patients with severe burns. A circular from the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health furthermore restricts the use of HES-containing products to specialist anaesthetists, advising the use of Gelofusine for the 'general resuscitation of hypovolaemic patients in intensive care' or for the 'acute resuscitation of patients with severe, source-controlled haemorrhagic shock in theatre by a specialist anaesthetist'.


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