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Sterile water/saline, 500 ml

HCPCS code

Name of the Procedure:

  • Common Name: Sterile water or saline administration
  • Medical Term: A4217 - Sterile water/saline, 500 ml


Sterile water or saline solution is administered to patients as an intravenous (IV) infusion or for irrigation of tissues. This procedure primarily involves the use of a sterile 500 ml bag of water or saline.


Sterile water or saline administration is used for:

  • Hydration in cases of dehydration.
  • Dilution of medications for infusion.
  • Irrigation of surgical sites or wounds to prevent infection and promote healing. The goal is to ensure patient hydration, proper medication administration, or provide a sterile environment during procedures.


  • Symptoms: Dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, need for medication dilution, or surgical interventions.
  • Conditions: Vomiting, diarrhea, significant fluid loss, wound cleaning, or surgical site irrigation.
  • Patient Criteria: Patients who are dehydrated, require IV medications, or have specific medical or surgical needs.


  • Patient Preparation: No specific preparation is generally needed for simple saline or water administration.
  • Diagnostics: Assess hydration status, blood tests to determine electrolyte levels, or any specific surgical assessments if used for irrigation.

Procedure Description

  1. IV Administration:
    • An IV catheter is placed into a vein.
    • The sterile water or saline is connected to the IV line.
    • The solution is infused at a prescribed rate.
  2. Irrigation:
    • The solution is poured or irrigated directly onto the tissue or wound.
    • Sterile tools and equipment ensure cleanliness.
    • Equipment Used: IV line, sterile needles, irrigation syringes or containers.
    • Anesthesia/Sedation: Generally, not necessary unless part of a larger surgical procedure.


  • IV Administration: Varies from 30 minutes to several hours depending on the infusion rate.
  • Irrigation: A few minutes.


  • IV Administration: Hospital, outpatient clinic, or home care settings.
  • Irrigation: Hospital or surgical center.


  • Nurses for IV insertion and monitoring.
  • Surgeons or trained medical staff for irrigation in surgical settings.

Risks and Complications

  • Common Risks: Infection at the IV site, minor discomfort during insertion, or slight swelling.
  • Rare Risks: Severe allergic reaction, fluid overload, electrolyte imbalances.
  • Complications Management: Sterile techniques to prevent infection, monitoring for signs of adverse reactions.


  • Expected Benefits: Rehydration, proper medication dilution, and infection prevention in wounds.
  • Timing: Benefits are often realized immediately or within a few hours.


  • Post-procedure Care: Monitor IV site, follow wound care instructions if applicable.
  • Recovery Time: Immediate to a few hours; no major restrictions usually.
  • Follow-up: Regular monitoring of hydration status or wound healing as needed.


  • Other Options: Oral rehydration, other intravenous solutions, different wound care products.
  • Pros and Cons: Oral rehydration is less invasive but slower; other IV solutions may have specific uses but differ in accessibility and cost.

Patient Experience

  • During Procedure: Mild discomfort during IV insertion, minimal sensation during irrigation.
  • Pain Management: Local anesthetics or pain relievers if necessary for irrigation, comfort measures for IV placement.

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