After recent natural disasters, hospitals and EMS warning of IV saline solution shortage

IV Shortages

The FDA and the Department of Health warning hospitals and EMS of a IV shortage.

"The patients that need the fluid volume that's where we could run into some issues if this shortage continues," said Steven Poffenberger, Director of Holy Spirit EMS, Geisinger affiliate.

An IV shortage that is being felt by many hospitals across the country. It's a shortage that has been exacerbated in recent weeks. The shortage stemming from Puerto Rico.

"With them being offline now that has made an impact on the packaging of the saline solution," said Poffenberger.

An essential element for hospitals and EMS.

"The IV fluid of choice is normal saline for all of our protocols," said Poffenberger.

According to the Department of Health the saline shortage has been a concern since 2014. The problem now greater. The FDA and manufacturing facilities in Puerto Rico impacted greatly after recent hurricanes. Specifically the manufacturing of the saline bags.

"So the bag of fluid comes into play when the patient is in need of fluid replacement or if we are giving multiple medications to a patient," said Poffenberger.

As of now it's just a warning from the Department of Health. Poffenberger says there are alternatives if the shortage were to continue.

"We can use other types of fluid, so if normal saline is not available there's lactated ringers, D5W or dextrose and water, the other primary fluids that are out there," said Poffenberger.

Currently there are no other hospitals in the region reporting an saline shortages.

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