Letter Re: Sodium Chloride IV Bag Expiry Dates

Friday, Mar 8, 2013

JWR:
I know you are not a medical doctor, but I had a question about Sodium Chloride .9% IV bags.  They have an Expiration date on them.  Is this information valid.  It is sterile water and salt so could something like that go bad?  Is it because the plastic might leech something out over time?   We just had a lovely “stick” class with my group where we each learned how to put in an IV on each other.  We determined who was good at it, and who should never, ever approach people with a needle.    

Each person was out of pocket for only about $11 for IV bag, butterfly infusion set, and tubing.  Already had alcohol wipes and latex gloves, so it was pretty cheap, but invaluable knowledge.  One of our group is an RN so we did have some medical assistance. 
 
Thanks in advance for the answer on the IV bags.  Really appreciate what you do. - A.J.

JWR Replies: The makers' expiry dates are absurdly short. The NaCl isn't going to magically drop out of solution on that date.  I wouldn't hesitate to use a bag that has been stored properly (in the dark) that is several years "out of date", as long as the solution looks clear. (No visible floaters or discoloration.)


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