Sterile Saline Shortage for Irrigation of Osteotomy: Ideas?

I’m interested to know what others are doing in response to the shortage of sterile saline bags for irrigation during drilling of the osteotomy. It seems that sterile saline in bags has become impossible to find. We found some sterile saline in bottles which can be syringed onto the osteotomy by the assistant. I thought about using sterile water or Lactated Ringers, but I’m unsure whether this is a good idea. The internet is surprisingly lacking information on the subject. Any other ideas?

14 thoughts on “Sterile Saline Shortage for Irrigation of Osteotomy: Ideas?

  1. Matt Slaven says:

    As an implant surgeon, I have been using an alternate “solution” for about 3 years now. This shortage will continue for the next 12-18 months and IV bags are the hardest to find. Switch to a plastic bottle delivery system, but it needs to be a very specific type of bottle. You can purchase large plastic inserts (spike adapter) that are designed to pierce through the plastic cap of the bottle. This works extremely well and are much more affordable. Contact Predictable Surgical Technologies. (disclaimer: Not intended to be an advertisement)

  2. Cliff Leachman says:

    Isn’t that funny we went to order last month and they told us there was a shortage and we waited a month, Steven Medical supplies. Jeez you think some independent surgical supplier would jump on this?

  3. FES, DMD says:

    Sterile water or 1/2 NS are both adequate substitutes. With regards to the comment about using D5W as an IV fluid, that’s not the best choice. D5W is listed as isotonic on the bag, but in vivo after the dextrose is metabolized, it in fact becomes a hypo tonic solution. This potentially can cause increased swelling. Better choice is NS or D5 1/2NS.

  4. Marc B. Hertz says:

    I stopped using normal saline & switched to sterile water for irrigation a number of years ago. The NS will ruin your bur marking’s visibility.

  5. greg steiner says:

    There is no harm is using irrigation during drilling but there is no benefit either. The reason irrigation is advised is because the occurrence of unexplained failures is often inaccurately blamed on burning the bone during drilling. The unexplained failures are most often the due to the type of bone the implant is placed in rather than the temperature of the drill. However very few every consider the bone as the reason for failure. I never use irrigation with my drills and I don’t replace them until they stop cutting.


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