Emergency Treatment of Hypovolemic Shock: Plasbumin-25 is hyperoncotic and on intravenous infusion will expand the plasma volume by an additional amount, three to four times the volume actually administered, by withdrawing fluid from the interstitial spaces, provided the patient is normally hydrated interstitially or there is interstitial edema. If the patient is dehydrated, additional crystalloids must be given, or alternatively, Albumin (Human) 5%, USP (Plasbumin-5) should be used. The patient's hemodynamic response should be monitored and the usual precautions against circulatory overload observed. The total dose should not exceed the level of albumin found in the normal individual, i.e., about 2 g per kg body weight in the absence of active bleeding. Although Plasbumin-5 is to be preferred for the usual volume deficits, Plasbumin-25 with appropriate crystalloids may offer therapeutic advantages in oncotic deficits or in long-standing shock where treatment has been delayed.
Removal of ascitic fluid from a patient with cirrhosis may cause changes in cardiovascular function and even result in hypovolemic shock. In such circumstances, the use of an albumin infusion may be required to support the blood volume.
Burn Therapy: An optimal therapeutic regimen with respect to the administration of colloids, crystalloids, and water following extensive burns has not been established. During the first 24 hours after sustaining thermal injury, large volumes of crystalloids are infused to restore the depleted extracellular fluid volume. Beyond 24 hours Plasbumin-25 can be used to maintain plasma colloid osmotic pressure.
Hypoproteinemia With or Without Edema: During major surgery, patients can lose over half of their circulating albumin with the attendant complications of oncotic deficit. A similar situation can occur in sepsis or intensive care patients. Treatment with Plasbumin-25 may be of value in such cases.
Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS): This is characterized by deficient oxygenation caused by pulmonary interstitial edema complicating shock and postsurgical conditions. When clinical signs are those of hypoproteinemia with a fluid volume overload, Plasbumin-25 together with a diuretic may play a role in therapy.
Cardiopulmonary Bypass: With the relatively small priming volume required with modern pumps, preoperative dilution of the blood using albumin and crystalloid has been shown to be safe and well-tolerated. Although the limit to which the hematocrit and plasma protein concentration can be safely lowered has not been defined, it is common practice to adjust the albumin and crystalloid pump prime to achieve a hematocrit of 20% and a plasma albumin concentration of 2.5 g per 100 mL in the patient.
Acute Liver Failure: In the uncommon situation of rapid loss of liver function with or without coma, administration of albumin may serve the double purpose of supporting the colloid osmotic pressure of the plasma as well as binding excess plasma bilirubin.
Neonatal Hemolytic Disease: The administration of Plasbumin-25 may be indicated prior to exchange transfusion, in order to bind free bilirubin, thus lessening the risk of kernicterus. A dosage of 1 g/kg body weight is given about 1 hour prior to exchange transfusion. Caution must be observed in hypervolemic infants.
Sequestration of Protein Rich Fluids: This occurs in such conditions as acute peritonitis, pancreatitis, mediastinitis, and extensive cellulitis. The magnitude of loss into the third space may require treatment of reduced volume or oncotic activity with an infusion of albumin.
Erythrocyte Resuspension: Albumin may be required to avoid excessive hypoproteinemia, during certain types of exchange transfusion, or with the use of very large volumes of previously frozen or washed red cells. About 25 g of albumin per liter of erythrocytes is commonly used, although the requirements in preexistent hypoproteinemia or hepatic impairment can be greater. Plasbumin-25 is added to the isotonic suspension of washed red cells immediately prior to transfusion.
Acute Nephrosis: Certain patients may not respond to cyclophosphamide or steroid therapy. The steroids may even aggravate the underlying edema. In this situation a loop diuretic and 100 mL Plasbumin-25 repeated daily for 7 to 10 days may be helpful in controlling the edema and the patient may then respond to steroid treatment.
Renal Dialysis: Although not part of the regular regimen of renal dialysis, Plasbumin-25 may be of value in the treatment of shock or hypotension in these patients. The usual volume administered is about 100 mL, taking particular care to avoid fluid overload as these patients are often fluid overloaded and cannot tolerate substantial volumes of salt solution.
Situations in Which Albumin Administration is Not Warranted: In chronic nephrosis, infused albumin is promptly excreted by the kidneys with no relief of the chronic edema or effect on the underlying renal lesion. It is of occasional use in the rapid "priming" diuresis of nephrosis. Similarly, in hypoproteinemic states associated with chronic cirrhosis, malabsorption, protein losing enteropathies, pancreatic insufficiency, and undernutrition, the infusion of albumin as a source of protein nutrition is not justified.