Normal Saline (NS)

Normal Saline (NS)

  • Generic Name: sodium chloride
  • 0.9% strength of sodium chloride (Nacl) solution in water
  • Crystalloid Solution
  • Isotonic (308 mOsm)

Normal saline (0.9% sodium chloride) is an isotonic crystalloid solution. It is a source of water and electrolyte replacement. It closely approximates the composition of extracellular fluid (ECF) in the body. Normal saline is useful in replacing fluid loss and ECF electrolyte loss. It is also useful in wound irrigation and for inhalation in nebulization.
Normal saline solution has pH of 5.5 (4.5 to 7.0). Its composition, osmolarity, and ionic concentration are shown below for 1 litre of solution:

One litre of 0.9% Sodium Chloride contains:

154 mEq of sodium ion = 154 mmol/L 
154 mEq of chloride ion = 154 mmol/L 
Osmolarity = 308 mOsm/L


  • Increases circulating plasma volume when red cells are adequate
  • Shock
  • Fluid replacement in patients with diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Hyponatremia
  • Blood transfusions
  • Resuscitation
  • Metabolic Alkalosis
  • Hypercalcemia
Special Considerations
  • Do not use in patients with heart failure, edema, or hypernatremia, because NSS replaces extracellular fluid and can lead to fluid overload.
  • Replaces losses without altering fluid concentrations.
  • Helpful for Na+ replacement 


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