WASHINGTON — To address a shortage of intravenous solution bags exacerbated by Hurricane Maria, the Food and Drug Administration has granted permission for a health supply company to import certain products to the United States from Australia and Ireland.

In letters dated Monday, the company, Baxter International, informed its customers that they could now order bags of saline solution that are manufactured abroad even though they are not FDA-approved because they are not marketed in the United States. Saline solution, given intravenously, is used for hydration and to dilute drugs.

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  • Memo to the hospital. Go to a local lab. Pull off a bottle of NaCl. Dissolve 90 grams in 10 litres of H2O, stirring well. You will have made a solution of 0.9% saline. Find a bunch of empty IV bottles and sterilize. Fill bottles and hook up IV tubing. Enough to hang 20 IV bottles at a clip.

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