IV bags filled with saline solution are one of the most common items in hospitals. But new research suggests replacing the saline with a different intravenous solution may significantly reduce risks of death and kidney damage among patients.

According to the study, which was discussed at a critical care conference in San Antonio and published by the New England Journal of Medicine, switching from saline could save between 50,000 and 70,000 lives in the United States every year. Ditching the common solution could also reduce cases of kidney failure by 100,000.

“We found that these balanced solutions tended to make people live longer and have less kidney damage,” Dr. Wesley Self, a physician and researcher at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, who was involved in the research, told News Channel 5.

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