Hospitals across the country and here in northern MI are facing a shortage of IV bags.
Hospital officials, pharmacists and other staff have been devising alternatives and workarounds, training doctors and nurses on new procedures and options, and hitting the phones to try to secure fluids from secondary suppliers.
"We continue to keep a close eye on fluid supply, we're constantly looking at that with several times a week updates from our material management group", Hoffman said.
Now, medical facilities, like Carilion, are working to find solutions to a shortage of saline bags, typically used to administer life-saving medicine to patients. We're going to Puerto Rico to see firsthand the devastation on the island and how we can help our fellow citizens along the path to a full recovery.
The bags that are in short supply are made in Puerto Rico and the factories that make them took a direct hit from Hurricane Maria.
He says historically, they give 1,500 IV bags a day, and that's not including basic replacement fluid for patients.
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Nutrient solution bags, also running low, are needed for far fewer patients than saline, but there are few substitutes, said Connie Sullivan, head of research and innovation at the National Home Infusion Association.
"It's just never been this bad before. We're starting to put a lot of drugs in syringes instead that would normally be in a 50-100 ml bag", said Kevin Pendleton Director of Pharmacy Services at McLaren Northern Michigan.
But the flu season is also contributing to the lack of IV bags.
"Things will be a little bit different, but they should not see any change in their care", she said.