Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

Medical centers deal with shortage of IV bags

Medical centers deal with shortage of IV bags

The storm ravaged Puerto Rico in September, flooding towns, crushing homes and killing at least 64 people.

He says being part of a larger health care system they're better able to utilize and distribute their resources and minimize unnecessary use of IV fluids and access more if need be.

A national IV bag shortage could leave hospitals scrambling to treat patients, especially during flu season. I mean, we've been in a situation where we were waiting on IV, but we knew our suppliers could let us know, okay the shipment will get to us on this date and we'll get it to you.

Supplies of IV fluids, the bags they're hung in and related gear are dwindling in some area hospitals.

According to health professionals, the nation is seeing a shortage in IV's because of Hurricane Maria's effects on drug manufacturing companies in Puerto Rico.

Baxter International Factories produces the saline bags and nutrient solutions, and also supplied IV bags to Conway Medical Center. But intermittent power outages are still slowing Baxter's efforts to get back to full production.

"With our shortage, problem IV bags were hard to get".

Kyle Startsman, a pharmacist at the hospital, said that by being on top of the issue, they have been able to keep their supply lasting.

Only a few other companies make those solutions, the AP reported, and supplies never fully recovered after a 2014 shortage of saline bags.

"We should learn something about patient care from this", he said.

In addition to meeting with state troopers, the group plans to visit a children's hospital in San Juan, a health center in Loiza and a shelter in Canovanas.

"Certainly it's presented challenges; however, we are not at the point of giving patients Gatorade in the emergency department as some facilities are", said Startsman.

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