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Hospitals across the U.S. experiencing IV bag shortage, including Green Bay

13 January 2018

The acute shortage of IV bags is linked to Hurricane Maria and the devastation it wrought on Puerto Rico last September.

"When I got word that we were going to have an opportunity to possibly send some guys down there, I thought, this is a no brainer I'm in", said Stingle.

During an already hard flu season for hospitals, this makes a bad situation that much worse.

"We want to assist the people of Puerto Rico and we are honored to be part of this restoration effort", said Kent Larson, executive vice president and group president of operations.

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Baxter operates three manufacturing facilities in Puerto Rico. Presently, TF Power Restoration is focusing on the central portion of the island in a bid to address the power discrepancies in some of the mountainous villages of the region.

The worst shortage is for small saline bags.

"It has impacted us since the day it hit actually, and we're struggling with it on a day to day basis", said Jennifer Reeves, assistant director of pharmacy at CoxHealth.

"We are carefully monitoring the situation and looking at all of our options, given that we are in the midst of influenza season".

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To mitigate the saline shortages, many hospitals are switching patients from intravenous drugs to the same medication in pill form.

The report noted that 70 percent of Puerto Rico's water treatment and distribution systems were affected by the hurricane.

Baxter has brought in additional units to the US market through a recent permanent approval from the FDA for IVs produced in a Baxter North American manufacturing plant.

Because power and services had been returned to St. Lucie County far more quickly than in Puerto Rico, a decision was made to share the lifesaving supplies with those in even greater need.

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Connecticut's Democratic senators, Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal, are working as a tag team to keep Puerto Rico on the front burner since Congress nears a crucial deadline for providing financial and legislative changes that could alleviate the post-Hurricane Maria crisis on the island.

Hospitals across the U.S. experiencing IV bag shortage, including Green Bay