It's been nearly four months since Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, but the aftermath continues and this time it's with a nationwide shortage of IV bags.
Hospitals all over the United Stated haven't been fully stocked on IV bags since before the storm hit and that was back in September. Hurricane Maria shut down Baxter, which is one of the manufacturers of these bags. Baxter is back up and running now, but it could still take at least a month to get orders back on track. Local hospitals are feeling this shortage too, and with flu season happening right now, pharmacies are coming up with other ways to hydrate patients, while still conserving their IV bags.
"Instead of using the larger bag of 1,000ml's, we could use 2 of the 500ml bags. We did make some changes with the IV antibiotics and how we administer them" says the Director of Pharmacy at Fairmont Regional Medical Center.
Fairmont Regional Medical Center and United Hospital Center aren't the only hospitals in West Virginia dealing with this shortage, in fact, many of the hospitals in our area are. The director of pharmacies for both hospitals are reassuring us that they are not in a crisis for IV bags right now, but if one does occur, they still have ways of treating their patients.
"We think we have adequate supplies to take care of the individuals that are in the hospital and would need the IV fluids and if something happens that changes, we'll adjust to make sure they're treated properly" says the Director of Pharmacies at Fairmont Regional Medical Center.