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For patients with severe sepsis, fluid resuscitation with Ringer's acetate was safer than it was with a widely used solution of hydroxyethyl starch, researchers reported.

In a randomized blinded trial, patients treated with hydroxyethyl starch 130/0.4 had an increased risk of death at 90 days, compared with those given Ringer's acetate, according to Anders Perner, MD, of the Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, and colleagues.

They were also more likely to need renal-replacement therapy during the course of treatment, Perner and colleagues reported online in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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