At the termination of World War II, the advent of atomic destruction alerted the medical profession to the great need for emergency stockpiling of plasma and plasma substitutes. At present, three plasma substitutes are widely used, dextran, polyvinylpyrrolidone, and oxypolygelatin. "Plasma volume expander" is the accepted name for these materials, since there is no true substitute for plasma or whole blood. Plasma expanders may be divided into four groups: (1) Blood derivatives: albumin, plasma, and modified globin; (2) modified proteins: gelatin and oxypolygelatin; (3) polymerized cabohydrates: dextran; (4) plastics: polyvinylpyrrolidone.1a
My clinical experience with plasma volume expanders has been limited almost entirely to the evaluation of dextran. I have had very little experience with polyvinylpyrrolidone, and I have not used oxypolygelatin in any of my studies.
METHOD AND MATERIALS
I have administered more than 500 infusions of dextran (Plavolex), in 6% isotonic sodium chloride solution during an 18 month
Bowman HW. CLINICAL EVALUATION OF DEXTRAN AS A PLASMA VOLUME EXPANDER. JAMA. 1953;153(1):24–26. doi:10.1001/jama.1953.02940180026009