I have found that many medical students (and beyond) do not understand the basics of the fluids used for volume resuscitation. This segment is meant to be a primer that would provide enough information to be able to intelligently talk about the differences between the main types of fluids used. We will discuss the definitions of colloid and crystalloid solutions, common classes of fluids with distinct differences. Further discussion will be on the differences between normal saline and balanced solutions such as lactated ringers and plasmalyte. Knowing the differences (such as normal saline’s large chloride load) are key when anticipating electrolyte changes in your patient. There will also be a quick discussion on using blood products for volume resuscitation in hemorrhage (remember 1x1x1). Finally, it is important to get the proper vascular access for the amount of fluids you want to give, and is something you should be thinking about. Hopefully this can provide some insight (and get you questions right from your attending physicians on emergency department or ICU rotations).
References and further readings:
Chapter 12 Marinos ICU book
Kilian, Scott J. "A Primer on Resuscitation Fluids." (May 2018).