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IV Solution Quick Reference

*Note nursing consideration specific to solution type (osmolality)

Type Description Osmolality Use Miscellaneous

0.9% NaCl in
circulating -Replaces losses without altering fluid
Normal Saline Water Isotonic
plasma volume concentrations.
(NS) Crystalloid (308 mOsm)
when red cells -Helpful for Na+ replacement
are adequate

-Useful for daily maintenance of body
fluid, but is of less value for
0.45% NaCl in
replacement of NaCl deficit.
1/2 Normal Saline Water Hypotonic Raises total
-Helpful for establishing renal
(1/2 NS) Crystalloid (154 mOsm) fluid volume
-Fluid replacement for clients who
don’t need extra glucose (diabetics)

Normal saline -Normal saline with K+, Ca++, and
Lactated Ringer’s Isotonic Replaces fluid
with electrolytes lactate (buffer)
(LR) (275 mOsm) and buffers pH
and buffer -Often seen with surgery

Raises total -Provides 170-200 calories/1,000cc for
Isotonic (in
fluid volume. energy.
Dextrose 5% in the bag)
Helpful in *Physiologically hypotonic -the
D5W water Crystalloid *Physiological
rehydrating and dextrose is metabolized quickly so
solution ly hypotonic
excretory that only water remains - a hypotonic
(260 mOsm)
purposes. fluid

Replaces fluid
Dextrose 5% in Hypertonic sodium,
D5NS -Watch for fluid volume overload
0.9% saline (560 mOsm) chloride, and
Useful for daily
maintenance of
Dextrose 5% in Hypertonic
D5 1/2 NS body fluids and -Most common postoperative fluid
0.45% saline (406 mOsm)
nutrition, and
for rehydration.
Same as LR
Dextrose 5% in plus provides
D5LR Lactated about 180 -Watch for fluid volume overload
(575 mOsm)
Ringer’s calories per

- pH 7.4
Replaces fluid - Contains sodium, chloride, calcium,
Normosol-R Normosol (295 mOsm)
and buffers pH potassium and magnesium
- Common fluid for OR and PACU