In a bit of a bind here. I am taking a trip to Africa to assist in Surgery in May. I've put out a call for donations of supplies etc, and have gotten some things, and some more are coming. Today, a nice lady donated 2 big boxes of 0.9% NS in 250 ml bags, perfect for hanging our preop abx, but the have an Exp date of 12/02. I called Baxter, who made them and they immediately told me to throw them out and they would sell me more and that the normal saline would "break down". (When I asked the guy what it would break down into he was at a loss for words, and actually said, Ummm, uh it will just degrade.) Being a bit confused, I called my pharmacist buddy and she said, "Normal saline is just normal saline, it can't degrade like mannitol". SO now, I'm torn. Does the stuff really expire? It has no chunks or flecks floating in it, and it is clear and not discolored. It is all still in sterile wrapping around the bags as well. What do you think?