Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Local power crews head to Puerto Rico

IV shortage two-fold issue after Hurricane in Puerto Rico and flu season Local hospitals experiencing shortage of IV fluids, but not because of flu
Kenny Thornton | 13 January, 2018, 12:22

Marines with Marine Air Control Squadron 2, Marine Air Control Group 28, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing from Cherry Point have been operating in Puerto Rico since recovery efforts began following the hurricane.

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.

Officials say the major shortage of IV fluid bags comes after Hurricane Maria wiped out power at major medical supply distributors in Puerto Rico.

A national IV bag shortage could leave hospitals scrambling to treat patients, especially during flu season.

Puerto Rico's power grid is being slowly restored and the last of three Baxter International factories there that make saline bags and nutrient solutions was reconnected just before Christmas.

Right now hospitals across the nation and here in West Texas a shortage of IV fluids.

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Now many hospitals are only getting half or two-thirds of what they order, and have only a few days' worth of saline on their shelves.

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

He says, shortages like this are very unpredictable, but he says any changes they implement to help in the meantime, are done with the patient's safety in mind.

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. "We're starting to put a lot of drugs in syringes instead that would normally be in a 50-100 ml bag", said Kevin Pendleton Director of Pharmacy Services at McLaren Northern Michigan. "With IV fluids I can't ever remember a time when we've had this critical nationwide shortage that we've had to do these conservation measures", said Pendelton.

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

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