Isotonic crystalloid is one of the mainstays of burns resuscitation fluid. An example is Hartmann Solution (lactated Ringer's Solution).
It is given primarily in the first 24 hours after injury. It is used because there is a concern that protein fluids given within the first 24 hours are not maintained within the intravascular space due to increased vessel permeability. Consequently, protein leaking into the interstitial fluids will increase oncotic pressure and the tendency to oedema. Until permeability is reduced, isotonic crystalloids are thought to result in less oedema while being safe, cheap and widely available.
The volume to administer within the first 24 hours is guided by The Parkland Formula.
Last reviewed 01/2018