As the flu continues to ravage people all across the country, a shortage of a particular medical device sometimes used to treat those suffering from the virus is making things more complicated.
The destruction of a medical products manufacturers in Puerto Rico has led to shortage of IV fluids which are used to inject drugs intravenously.
An article in The Guardian said that only a handful of companies in the U.S. make the IV fluids and that one of them — Baxter International was based in Puerto Rico. That island’s electrical grind is not expected to be fully operational until May.
So many hospitals in the U.S. are having to find a way to continue to treat patients will dealing with the shortage. In Sherman, Cathy Black with Wilson N. Jones Regional Medical Center said the shortage is expected to continue through the end of April.
Black said WNJ has not cancel any procedures due to the saline shortage.
“We have implemented several conservation strategies to maximize use of our stock,” she said noting that those strategies include having the anesthesia department review processes for outpatient procedures to determine when oral hydration is appropriate rather than IV hydration.
Additionally, she said, doctors review patient needs daily to assess the need to continue IV fluids on those patients receiving IV therapy and the hospital has changed from administering medications through IV solutions to using a syringe push when medically safe for the patient.
Black said it also helps that WNJ is about to get saline solutions from other hospitals within the Alecto Healthcare system.