Hospitals across the United States experiencing IV bag shortage, including Green Bay

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The U.S. EPA released an update on conditions in Puerto Rico on January 5.

"We had to do something to reduce our usage by about 50% and move to another alternate means without impacting patient care and we've been able to do that successfully so far", he said.

"Per the agency, some 100 days after the storm, approximately 76,000 residents in the United States commonwealth now rely on drinking water that might be contaminated with raw sewage", Color Lines reported.

"We want to assist the people of Puerto Rico and we are honored to be part of this restoration effort", said Kent Larson, executive vice president and group president of operations.

A saline-solution shortage worsened by Hurricane Maria has hospitals anxious, even as staff turn to creative solutions such as breaking out the Gatorade. As Puerto Rico's power grid is restored, Baxter International factories, which make the nutrient solutions and saline bags, was reconnected before Christmas.

Image Nicholas Spileos age 64 of South Weymouth Massachusetts

Thompson said Freeman does the same and, like other hospitals across the country, has been more careful to use IV fluids only when necessary. Baxter, one of the main producers of IV saline fluids, got power back its Puerto Rican plant in later December after weeks of outages. For instance, syringe supplies are running low because many patients are now getting injections instead of IV drips. While this shortage appears bigger, hospitals have dealt with shortages before, Thompson said, so they'll keep monitoring supplies - and knocking on wood. Ohio Health System will evaluate its new practices to see which are cost-effective and should be kept, said pharmacy services head Curt Passafume Jr.

A representative with Bellin Health said they have not been directly impacted by the IV bag shortage.

They've also been changing some procedures, like trying to switch people off IV bags as soon as possible and not starting patients on IV drips during surgery until it's certain they are needed.

Local hospitals and clinics are using alternative methods to hydrate sick patients.

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