Hospitals around the country have low-shortage on IV fluid

Hospitals around the country have low-shortage on IV fluid

MIDLAND-ODESSA, TX (KWES) - Hurricane Maria left behind miles and miles of damage to homes and crops in Puerto Rico. But it also left big hits to pharmaceutical companies like Baxter and Pfizer that were manufacturing supplies.

"When you have a removal of any source of materials in the market, it puts pressure on all of the other companies as well because people try to obtain supplies from wherever they can," said Medical Center Hospital Director of Pharmacy, Charlene Dawson. "They cannot keep up with the market supply."

Now, hospitals all around the country, even in the Basin, are stocked short.

Midland Memorial, Odessa Regional Medical Center and Medical Center Hospital are on that list of facilities that currently have a shortage of small volume supplies. The smaller bags of IV fluid are used the most. With limited supplies coming in, they've had to find alternative solutions.

"Your biggest concern is they don't resume production in time for you to be able to replenish your stockpile before it becomes critical in patients or actually not able to receive the care that they need," said Dawson.

Fortunately, Medical Center Hospital doesn't need to make any major changes due to the shortage. One solution was to put the IV fluid from the big bags to the smaller bags, but that would've resulted in them running out of 50 and 100 ml bags. Which is why the best alternative is to give the IV fluid through a syringe, which has been a faster process.

"At first we thought it was going to be harder, but as we started working with it, it's easier because we do have patients on two, three, four, five antibiotics," said Medical Center Hospital Registered Nurse, Olivia Ortiz. "It's the same medication, but different dosage and a different administration."

There's no telling when production is expected to pick up again, so for now, syringe pumps will compensate for the shortage, while still giving patients the care they need.

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