U.S. hospitals recovering from IV fluid shortage caused by Hurricane Maria

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Supplies of saline and nutrient solutions were already tight before hurricanes pounded Puerto Rico and cut power to manufacturing plants that make much of the us supply of fluid-filled bags used to deliver sterile solutions to patients.

Owens-Pike traveled to Puerto Rico to help with Maria's relief effort but was dumbfounded by the storm's impact back home.

"You lose millions of bags a week in supply to the United States, and that creates a shortage everywhere", said Mike Auger, pharmacy director at Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital in St. Johnsbury.

There's a worldwide shortage of IV bags.

Baxter said Wednesday that its manufacturing facilities in Puerto Rico are completely connected to the electric grid, though they are keeping backup diesel generation in case of power interruptions. He recently worked on the island as a sub contractor.

Within the hospital, Dowd said, staffers are managing IV fluid inventory by making sure heavily used products are "stocked as much as possible" in higher-use locations.

Baxter is one of the largest manufacturers of this product serving the US market, the FDA said, and the return to the grid for all Baxter facilities means that the unsafe shortages of both pediatric and adult formula amino acids is "also anticipated to improve in the coming weeks".

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Shortages are also hitting surgery centers, cancer clinics that infuse chemotherapy, dialysis centers and companies that provide regular infusions to home-bound patients.

They all tell us the same thing - that the situation is better now than it was a few weeks ago and that they've learned ways to work around shortages so patient care isn't affected.

All of the island's 3.5 million residents lost power due to Hurricane Maria in late September. "We get together, we spend all day together".

"No one wants to come out and make it sound like their hospital isn't safe", but problems will worsen if shortages don't ease soon, Pasko said.

They contain saline and nutrient solutions. Ohio Health System will evaluate its new practices to see which are cost effective and should be kept, said pharmacy services heard Curt Passafume Jr.

"We're not out of the woods, but it's improved", UVM's Miceli said. "Every day here, we have a daily safety brief with all the leaders in the organization, and we talk about the shortages there, how we're coping and what's the plan".

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