The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has provided recommendations to health care personnel regarding the current shortage of prefilled 0.9% sodium chloride intravenous (IV) lock/flush syringes due to an increase in demand during the COVID-19 public health emergency and recent vendor supply chain challenges.

The prefilled 0.9% sodium chloride IV lock/flush syringes are single-use syringes intended to help prevent vascular access systems from becoming blocked and to help remove any medication that may remain at the catheter site. The FDA has recently added the prefilled 0.9% sodium chloride IV lock/flush syringes (Product Code NGT – Saline, Vascular Access Flush) to the medical device shortage list and device discontinuance list.

Health care personnel are recommended to use prefilled 0.9% sodium chloride IV lock/flush syringes as your supply allows. If prefilled 0.9% sodium chloride IV lock/flush syringes are unavailable, health care personnel should consider the following recommendations:

  • Use preservative-free, sterile 0.9% sodium chloride single dose vials. 
  • Use heparin lock flush syringes to flush an IV catheter to help prevent blockage within the catheter after receiving an IV infusion, if medically appropriate and in accordance with your facility’s policy, unless contraindicated.
  • Do not use expired prefilled saline flush syringes because they may have decreased volume, degraded ingredients, or lack sterility.
  • Do not use prefilled saline flush syringes that are not FDA-cleared flush syringes.

The FDA encourages the reporting of all or suspected adverse events related to any prefilled saline flush syringes through MedWatch, the FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting program.

Reference

Prefilled saline flush syringe conservation strategies – letter to health care personnel. News release. US Food and Drug Administration. Accessed March 21, 2022. https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/letters-health-care-providers/prefilled-saline-flush-syringe-conservation-strategies-letter-health-care-personnel?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery