The key difference between lactated ringers and sodium chloride is that lactated ringers is a solution containing sodium ions, chloride ions, lactate ions, potassium ions and calcium ions whereas sodium chloride is a salt containing sodium ions and chloride ions.
Lactated ringers solution is what we call Hartmann’s solution. It is an isotonic and crystalloid solution. This is useful as a replacing fluid for our body because of its osmolarity, which is similar to normal body fluids. On the other hand, sodium chloride is an ionic compound that readily dissolves in water to give sodium chloride aqueous solution or saline. Saline also has medicinal uses such as a cleaning agent for wounds. Therefore, apart from the composition, the lactated ringers solution is different from a sodium chloride solution according to the medicinal uses.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Lactated Ringers
3. What is Sodium Chloride
4. Side by Side Comparison – Lactated Ringers vs Sodium Chloride in Tabular Form
What is Lactated Ringers?
Lactated ringers solution is a mixture of mixture of sodium chloride, sodium lactate, potassium chloride, and calcium chloride in water. Its osmolarity is similar to that of body fluids. Therefore, it is useful to replace body fluids. Furthermore, the high ionic content of this solution makes it an electrolytic solution. The ions that are present in this solution includes sodium ions, chloride ions, lactate ions, potassium ions and calcium ions. The lactate ions can cause an alkalizing effect.
Most of the times, we use this solution in combination with 5% dextrose fluid as an injection (to provide our body with electrolytes, calories and water). However, this solution does not contain any antimicrobial agents. The major uses of this medication are to maintain the intravascular volume or to maintain fluid volume during surgery.
What is Sodium Chloride?
Sodium chloride is a salt containing sodium ions and chloride ions. Hence it is an ionic compound. This compound readily dissolves in water to give aqueous sodium chloride solution which we call saline. The concentration of this compound in saline varies with the intended use. The normal saline is a 0.9% solution of sodium chloride in water. this concentration may vary from 0.9% to 7% (hypertonic saline).
Sodium chloride compound is an essential compound for our body to absorb and transport nutrients, maintain blood pressure, transmit nerve signals, contract and relax muscles, etc. This salt appears as white-colored cubes. Moreover, too little or too much of this salt may cause harmful effects to our body.
What is the Difference Between Lactated Ringers and Sodium Chloride?
Lactated ringers solution or Hartmann’s solution is a mixture of several ionic compounds such as sodium chloride, sodium lactate, potassium chloride and calcium chloride. When we dissolve these compounds in water, we call it lactated ringers solution. On the other hand, saline is a sodium chloride aqueous solution. It has a less ionic content when compared to lactated ringers solution. Therefore, the uses of these two solutions are also different from each other.
Summary – Lactated Ringers vs Sodium Chloride
There are many important solutions that we use in medicine. Lactated ringers solution and saline (aqueous sodium chloride solution) are two of them. The difference between lactated ringers and sodium chloride is that lactated ringers is a solution containing sodium ions, chloride ions, lactate ions, potassium ions and calcium ions whereas sodium chloride is a salt containing sodium ions and chloride ions.
1. Perkins, Sharon. “What Are Lactated Ringers.” LIVESTRONG.COM, Leaf Group, 14 Aug. 2017. Available here
2. “What Is Sodium Chloride and How Is It Used?” Healthline, Healthline Media. Available here
1.’LactateRingers’By Jcb10 John Baker – Own work (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
2.’NaCl medical’By GeCaHu – Own work, (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
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