Hurricane causes statewide shortage of IV bags

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Hospitals nationwide are facing a shortage of IV bags, and Arkansas hospitals are feeling the squeeze. A Puerto Rico plant that manufactures bags for intravenous therapy was knocked out in the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria in September. The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette recently reported that thanks to the shortage, many Arkansas hospitals are utilizing other options in order to conserve.

“Our clinicians are telling me that it’s probably the worst they can remember,” said Mark Lowman, a spokesman for Baptist Health Medical Center in Little Rock.

Dr. Jen Perry, pharmacy director for CHI St. Vincent, said it’s the latest in years of worsening drug shortages, commonly blamed on industry consolidation.

“This is the worst situation that I’ve ever been a part of,” she said.

The paper does note, however, that state hospitals are optimistic the shortage will not affect patient care.

Syringes, pills and new “ready-to-use products” are just some of the alternatives hospitals are utilizing for conservation.

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