ProMedica adjusts to deal with shortage of saline IV bags

JIM WATSON via Getty Images
“The federal government didn’t do things right from the beginning,” the mayor told Time magazine

JIM WATSON via Getty Images “The federal government didn’t do things right from the beginning,” the mayor told Time magazine

When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico a year ago, the storm took out IV saline solution manufacturers, leaving hospitals around the country low on supplies.

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.

Now, medical facilities, like Carilion, are working to find solutions to a shortage of saline bags, typically used to administer life-saving medicine to patients. Even before Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, Massachusetts was the proud home of 300,000 Puerto Ricans - and thousands more have come to the Bay State since Hurricane Maria upended their lives. 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.

Hospitals across the country and here in northern MI are facing a shortage of IV bags.

The last of the three Baxter International factories on the island was reconnected just before Christmas, but intermittent power outages have kept the plants from resuming full production.

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

In the Danbury area, hospitals have felt a disruption in their supply of IV bags, but have so far been able to push through, said Andrea Rynn, a representative of the Western Connecticut Health Network, which includes Danbury and New Milford hospitals.

Sarrah Hein is Pharmacy Manager for Akron Children's hospital in Mahoning County. "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.

"Things will be a little bit different, but they should not see any change in their care", she said.

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