IV Shortage Update

by | Oct 16, 2017

The recent hurricanes cross country wreaked lots of havoc, but who would’ve guessed that a hurricane in Puerto Rico would have such devastating effects in the U.S. mainland?
Baxter, the manufacturer of IV bags, halted production of their product after Hurricane Maria decimated their factory in Puerto Rico. Hospital pharmacists across the country are racing to find alternatives to this small, fluid filled bag. Even the alternatives are now becoming scarce, leading to a major shortage in the United States.
The bag shortage is the most significant to be directly linked to the effects of the hurricane but others are likely to follow. In addition to creating a humanitarian crisis on the island, the storm knocked out production at the Puerto Rican factories that make vital drugs, medical devices, and medical supplies that are used around the world.
Some device and supply companies have already begun limiting shipments of certain items from the island, ranging from mesh for repairing hernias to surgical scalpels and tools used in orthopedic surgery.
Many plants are running at below 50 percent capacity, with some operating at even less. If conditions don’t improve, more shortages — of both drugs and medical devices — might follow by early next year.

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