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A Paradigm for Consensus:  The University Hospital Consortium Guidelines for the Use of Albumin, Nonprotein Colloid, and Crystalloid Solutions

Lee C. Vermeulen Jr, MS; Thomas A. Ratko, PhD; Brian L. Erstad, PharmD; Mark E. Brecher, MD; Karl A. Matuszewski, MS; Gordon R. Bernard, MD; Kim J. Burchiel, MD; David A. Burnett, MD; Frank B. Cerra, MD; Mary Jo Drew, MD; Evan R. Geller, MD; Robert J. Goulet Jr, MD; Michael Jastremski, MD; Steven B. Johnson, MD; Donald T. Kishi, PharmD; Pat M. Krstenansky, PharmD; Julie O'Sullivan Maillet, PhD, RD; Andrew A. Pecora, DO, FACOI, FACG; Rosa P. Mak, MS, RD, CNSD; James S. Malter, MD; Stefan P. Marcuard, MD; J. Stanley Smith Jr, MD; Irma O. Szymanski, MD; Cynthia A. Thomson, MS, RD, CNSD; Dirk J. Van Leeuwen, MD, PhD; Arthur S. Zbrozek, RPh, MSc, MBA; Rowen K. Zetterman, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1995;155(4):373-379. doi:10.1001/archinte.1995.00430040041005.
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Objective:  To develop contemporary, comprehensive guidelines for the appropriate and efficient use of albumin, nonprotein colloid, and crystalloid solutions.

Design:  A systematic, literature-based, consensus exercise employing a modified Delphi method.

Participants:  Thirty-one medical and allied health professionals from 26 University Hospital Consortium (Oak Brook, Ill) member institutions were initially chosen to participate. Participants were selected on the basis of their recognized research in the use of albumin, nonprotein colloid, and crystalloid solutions, and/or experience in the review of appropriateness of such use. A total of 24 participants completed the

Main Outcome Measures:  Group responses were statistically analyzed in an iterative consensus development process. Five separate questionnaire rounds were designed to establish criteria for the appropriate use of albumin, nonprotein colloid, and crystalloid solutions.

Results:  Consensus guidelines were developed outlining the appropriate use of these products for 12 clinical indications, including hemorrhagic shock, nonhemorrhagic (maldistributive) shock, hepatic resection, thermal injury, cerebral ischemia, nutritional intervention, cardiac surgery, hyperbilirubinemia of the newborn, cirrhosis and paracentesis, nephrotic syndrome, organ transplantation, and plasmapheresis.

Conclusions:  The Delphi method, a systematic, literature-based consensus process, was shown to be useful in the development of complex clinical practice guidelines for the use of albumin, nonprotein colloid, and crystalloid solutions. It is anticipated that the guidelines will assist health care providers to develop local institutional policies and procedures for the appropriate and efficient use of albumin and albumin alternatives. Institutions reviewing and updating existing local guidelines may use the University Hospital Consortium guidelines as a model for comparison.(Arch Intern Med. 1995;155:373-379)

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