There continues to be a global shortage of Sodium Chloride 0.9% (normal saline, NS) and Sterile Water for Injection 10 ml vial.

What's happening?

The Student Practice team is informing all students and faculty instructors that there continues to be a global shortage of Sodium Chloride 0.9% (normal saline, NS) and Sterile Water for Injection 10 ml vial.

  • At this time, the supply of NS is at critical levels.
  • As of April 12, 2018, the supply of sterile water at critical levels.

Why is this important?

Mitigation strategies must be implemented in order to continue to provide safe and quality patient care.

How will these impact students and faculty instructors?

Students and faculty instructors who are completing student placements in Fraser Health should consult with the patient care coordinator and clinical nurse educator on their units to clarify the process at each site for dealing with this supply shortage. Students and faculty instructors are also asked to consider the following:

  • Check with the patient’s most responsible provider to determine what IV medications could be transitioned to the oral route.
  • Preserve existing stock by using the right product for the right use. NS or Sterile Water for Injection is not interchangeable with NS or Sterile Water for Irrigation. For wound care, only use products labelled “For Irrigation” or “For Inhalation.”
  • Do not use 10ml vials for flushing peripheral IVs and central venous catheters. Use a pre-filled NS flush syringe. Do not use pre-filled NS syringe for dilution and administration of medication.
  • If the entire contents of a vial are to be administered, use a reconstitution device with an appropriate size minibag.
  • For all other reconstitution or dilution with NS, as a temporary measure we have endorsed for one health care provider to take multiple doses from a either a 100ml or 250ml minibag, changing the minibag after one shift or 12 hours (whichever comes first):
  • Attach a bag spike adaptor.
  • Attach a new Curos alcohol-impregnated cap onto the needleless access port after every access. o Add label with the date and time. If using a bag spike adaptor and Curos cap, replace the minibag and bag spike after one shift or 12 hours (whichever comes first).
  • Replace the Curos cap after each access.
  • If you do not have a bag spike adaptor, use a syringe with needle to access the minibag and add label with the date and time. Use for a maximum of 4 hours or 4 accesses.
  • If you have a critical need for Sterile Water for Injection, contact your Site Pharmacy.


Please contact the Student Practice Team at

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