Human albumin is obtained from pooled human plasma; 100 ml of 20% human albumin solution is the osmotic equivalent of about 400 ml of fresh frozen plasma or 800 ml of whole blood. It can be used without regard to patient’s blood group and does not interfere with coagulation. Unlike whole blood or plasma, human albumin is free of risk of transmitting serum hepatitis because the preparation is heat treated. There is also no risk of sensitization with repeated infusions.
The 20% solution draws and holds additional fluid from tissues: crystalloid solutions must be infused concurrently for optimum benefit. Apart from burns, hypovolemia, shock, etc., human albumin has been used in acute hypoproteinaemia, acute liver failure and dialysis. Dilution of blood using albumin and crystalloid solutions can be used before cardiopulmonary bypass. Febrile reaction to human albumin occurs occasionally. It is very expensive and this hinders its use in the developing countries. It is frequently used these days in intensive care units as volume expanders in patients with burns, liver failure, shock and hypoprteinemia. Its use has been found to be relatively safer than the other blood fractions.
Commercial preparations are:
Human albumin 20%: ALBUDAC, ALI3UPAN 50, 100 ml inj., ALBUMED 5%, 20% infusion (100 ml)