Egg on their faces : The story of human albumin solution
In 1998, the Cochrane Injuries Group published the results of a systematic review of human albumin administration in critically ill patients. The results showed that the risk of death in patients receiving albumin was 14%, and the risk of death in patients not receiving albumin was 8%, suggesting that for every 17 critically ill patients treated with albumin there is one extra death. The results were widely reported in the television and print media throughout the world and stimulated an immediate response from the drug regulatory agencies, the plasma products industry, and the medical profession. Despite vigorous attempts by the plasma products industry to limit the effect of the systematic review on albumin sales, the use of albumin declined steeply, showing that evidence from systematic reviews can have an important effect on clinical care.