Southwestern dealing with IV bag shortage
Southwestern Medical Center, like other local and area hospitals and health care providers, has seen the effects of a nationwide shortage of IV bags, used in the treatment of patients, due to the effects of Hurricane Harvey in Puerto Rico, where such bags are manufactured.
Dr. Robin Garmon, the hospital's director of pharmacy, said the shortage was due to the hurricane effects that shut down a plant of Baxter International, Inc. in Puerto Rico due to the hurricane and related loss of electrical power that persisted last fall.
"The shortage started with the small bags (50-100 milliliter) and then later led to a shortage of the larger bags (500 milliliter)," he said.
Garmon said the hospital does have a plentiful supply of the smaller IV bags but short in supply of the larger size bags. He said the hospital has come up with a strategy to conserve use of IV bags wherever possible along with stretching out its supply IV fluids, which are not in short supply. He said that in some case, patients are being changed from normal saline fluids to lactated ringers.