LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Right now hospitals across the nation and here in West Texas a shortage of IV fluids. But the reason why may not be what you think.
According to health professionals, the nation is seeing a shortage in IV's because of Hurricane Maria's effects on drug manufacturing companies in Puerto Rico.
The shortage may last for months.
Another factor in the shortage; some companies are working on their manufacturing processes and the stability of the fluids themselves, which is slowing production.
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.
"What we need to make sure the patients and the public know is that this is impacting everybody across the country," said Cunningham. "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."
The FDA is working to approve sales from two additional companies that also produce the saline bags, but that process could take a few months.
No matter the reason, Carla Mccarty the director of nursing at West Texas ER says the shortage makes her nervous.
"It's just never been this bad before. 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. But we've never been in a situation where we just don't know. We just don't know when we'll be able to get it."
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