Normal Saline Question

  1. 1
    Hello All,

    I was looking for references regarding the use and storage of normal saline once opened in the home care setting. I know that ns was only "good" for 24hrs in the hospital setting. However, I have gotten conflicting information regarding its use in home care. Some resources I have seen say that ns is usable for 7days after opening while others state that a bottle of ns can be used for 30 days. Can anyone shed some light?

    Thanks for your help.
    Joe V likes this.

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  2. 8 Comments...

  3. 0
    Where I work, we use the NS that comes in 100ml bottles instead of those big 500-1000 ml bottles for wound care etc. If the saline has no preservatives in it, and it is not contaminated in any way, we label the bottles and use them for 7 days. After 7 days they must be thrown away. I've done some web research on this and tht seems to be kinda "norm" for home care.
  4. 0
    7 days seems to be the average. The bottles say store in the fridge, but I've never seen anyone do that.
  5. 1
    I have worked as a home health nurse for 20 years. Surveyors have told our agency 15 years ago that normal saline with cap is inappropriate for home care. Our agency uses saline spray or a normal saline wound wash. We use Medline for our supplies. With a closed system for normal saline we can use the bottle until it is empty.
    SeaH20RN likes this.
  6. 0
    Why would it expire differently in home care, its still 24 hours, don't use it and ask your company to get spray saline or use wound cleanser spray.
  7. 2
    Quote from Susan317
    Why would it expire differently in home care, its still 24 hours, don't use it and ask your company to get spray saline or use wound cleanser spray.
    Hospitals are much dirtier than the home. Procedures that may be sterile in the hospital may only require clean technique in the home.
    KelRN215 and morte like this.
  8. 0
    Quote from Susan317
    Why would it expire differently in home care, its still 24 hours, don't use it and ask your company to get spray saline or use wound cleanser spray.
    Lots of things are different in the hospital than in the home. For example, breast milk expired after 24 hrs in the refrigerator when I worked in the hospital but mothers pumping at home can keep it much longer. I think it's officially good for like 7-8 days in the fridge. We wasted so much in the hospital. It's also true, as Mr.ChicagoRN says, that there are many "sterile" procedures in the hospital that only require clean technique at home.
  9. 0
    Usually hospital have more strict guidelines, yes, you are right NS are usually only for 24 hours, in Home Health 7 days but need to be refrigerated.
  10. 0
    Are you taking about saline for irrigation, or saline in a single or multidose vial for injection into IV catheters?


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