Augusta Health finds solutions to IV bag shortage

Augusta Health finds solutions to IV bag shortage

Augusta Health finds solutions to IV bag shortage

Maria, the category 4 hurricane, hit Puerto Rico in mid-September.

Hospitals say they've had to stretch their supply of IV bags while making sure patients still get their medicine.

Saline solutions are frequently used to treat patients: most commonly to help administer drugs. 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.

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.

"The medications that are delivered within a hospital setting are given through an intravenous route using IV fluids to provide that medication, so it is very important that we continue to evaluate what we have", Hoffman said.

One of the major manufacturers in Puerto Rico is back on the power grid and the FDA hopes this shortage will end within the next few weeks.

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Baxter International Factories produces the saline bags and nutrient solutions, and also supplied IV bags to Conway Medical Center.

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

The shortage has left hospitals across the country scrambling to work around the lack of IV bags, especially as flu season ramps up.

"There are concerns nationwide that facilities will not be able to keep up with the supply issues", said Freije. "But we have not had to alter our practice whatsoever", said Heaton.

Pasko and other hospital officials said they worry that changes in procedures and products could lead to errors.

She was not able to say on Friday how low the supply had fallen in specific hospitals. "That has a huge impact on our nursing care", said Calvert.

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