Acute haemorrhage is a frequent problem in medicine. Patients with acute bleeding may present with signs of hypotension and reduced organ perfusion. The physician’s reflex action is often to treat such patients with intravenous volume replenishment using colloid or cristalloid liquids. Intravenous volume replenishment has, however, a downside: it increases the tendency to bleed and therefore can increase blood loss. Previous clinical observations and experimental animal and human studies addressing volume replenishment in haemorrhagic shock have repeatedly shown that accepting hypotension favourably affects prognosis. However, relevant practice guidelines, such as for gastrointestinal bleeding, usually advise liberal intravenous volume replenishment if hypotension is present. In this article we advocate caution when considering intravenous blood volume adjustment in haemorrhage.
Conflict of interest: none declared. Financial support: none declared.