Concentrated saline, NaCl 20%

So far we have been talking about litres.

20% saline would never come in a litre.

Its usually available in little plastic containers, each containing 10ml. I cannot think of a situation which would call for a litre of 20% NaCl, and if you encounter such an instance in your practice, please email me, so I can marvel at it. Now, AstraZeneca originally made this 20% stuff as a vein sclerosant. Needless to say, it remains a peripheral venous sclerosant, even when it is given with the noble intent of decreasing intracranial pressure or increasing serum sodium. It should only be given through a central line.

contents and properties of 20% concentrated saline

Given that it is a 20% solution, one might expect there to be 20g of salt in every 100ml of water; thus, every 10ml plastic vial contains 2g of salt.  This contributes 34.22 mmol of sodium and chloride, each.

Lavoisier have a pdf describing the properties of their product, to which I referred when reading about this.

In some surreal world where litre bags of 20% saline are available, each litre bag of 20% saline contains 200g (3.422 moles) of sodium chloride.


From MIMS online, via CIAP; using Baxter Full PI data sheets. Those PI documents are word for word what you will find on the bags.  Additionally, the anaesthesiauk website has this page, with a summary of the relevant details. To find out more about the pH of intravenous solutions, you could pay JAMA for this article.