Supply Chain Insights: 0.9% Sodium Chloride Prefilled Shortages

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is aware the United States is experiencing interruptions in the supply of prefilled 0.9% sodium chloride (saline) intravenous (IV) lock/ flush syringes.

Prefilled 0.9% sodium chloride IV lock/ flush syringes are in shortage because of an increase in demand during the COVID-19 public health emergency, as well as recent vendor supply chain challenges, including the permanent discontinuance of certain prefilled saline lock/ flush syringes. 

0.9 Normal Saline Shortage

Pre-filled saline syringes contain a close approximation to the salt concentration (0.9) of human blood also known as 0.9 normal saline. The mixture of 0.9g of salt (NaCl) per 100 ml of sterile water restores fluid balance and hydrates tissues. Along with the pre-filled saline syringes shortage, the pandemic has caused a nationwide shortage of 0.9% sodium chloride in small injection vials and small volume bags. 

The FDA offers the following recommendations when prefilled 0.9% sodium chloride lock/ flush syringes are not available:

1. Use preservative-free, sterile 0.9 percent sodium chloride single-dose vials if the prefilled syringes are unavailable. 

2. Use heparin lock flush syringes, typically used to flush an IV catheter, if medically appropriate and in line with facility policies.

3. Do not use expired pre-filled saline syringes, as they may be unsterile, contain degraded ingredients, have decreased volume, or lack sterility that may compromise the devices' performance and increase patients' risk.

4. Only use pre-filled saline flush syringes that are cleared by the FDA.

5. If your organization is still struggling to maintain sufficient sterile saline solution

supplies with these conservation strategies, they should contact the FDA, their group purchasing organization, or distributor for help.

6. Consider other recommendations from the FDA and relevant professional organizations for additional conservation strategies. 

Why Does 0.9 Sodium Chloride Shortage Matter?

As a healthcare provider, you want to supply the best care. Check your current inventory and see if any of the following practices apply to your organization:

Final thoughts

The majority of pharmaceutical products depend almost entirely on the availability of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). Without these essential medicine ingredients, pharmaceutical manufacturing is nearly impossible and causes drug shortages in the market.

The U.S. has a very limited capacity to make APIs and most of the supply now is manufactured abroad. Sometimes the APIs supply is even limited to a single foreign manufacturer. Around 80% of the world’s APIs come from China, India, and some other foreign countries. That makes the U.S. pharmaceutical supply vulnerable especially during the pandemic when India or Chine can impose an export ban on APIs. (Source)

With nationwide staff shortages, and supply chain issues finding ways to work around getting much-needed medical supplies can be frustrating. If your practice or hospital is in need of these supplies, you can purchase 0.9% sodium chloride saline on bttn today.