Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Local hospitals experiencing shortage of IV fluids, but not because of flu

Local hospitals experiencing shortage of IV fluids, but not because of flu

The U.S. Army says Puerto Rico is close to having most of its power restored.

"When you are doing a push IV, the nurse has to stand there at the patient's bedside for 15 to 30 minutes".

Allen Cunningham, the Clinical pharmacy manager for Covenant Medical Center, says that right now hospitals are working on managing and sometimes rationing their supplies, so they don't run out.

Pasko and other hospital officials said they worry that changes in procedures and products could lead to errors. "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 our shortage, problem IV bags were hard to get".

The delegation's schedule includes a stop at Hospital de Nino, which treats children with autism and special needs in San Juan, a health center in Loiza, and a shelter in Canovanas. And Baxter International was given the OK to temporarily import sterile fluids from 6 overseas factories. "We're a part of a large health system and it makes it so we can shift supplies to the places that really truly need it, or are getting to a bare minimum on supplies, so we've been able to work with our facilities here in West Texas to ensure that everybody keeps an ample supply to take care of the patients".

Baxter says it's been shipping those to USA hospitals since October, but hospital officials say that hasn't been enough.

Also speaking to the AP, Connie Sullivan of the National Home Infusion Association noted that her members have been forced to seek alternative methods of treating patients, though few options are available.

"I have never seen anything quite this bad", Sullivan said.

He says historically, they give 1,500 IV bags a day, and that's not including basic replacement fluid for patients. He said since September, the state's career services agencies have helped more than 7,600 Puerto Ricans find jobs.

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