Hurricane Maria leaving the US with a shortage of IV bags

By: Tiffany Lewis | WCTV Eyewitness News
January 25, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Devastation in Puerto Rico is now creating a shortage of important medical supplies in the United States.

Puerto Rico is the top producer of medical supplies for the United States, distributing more pharmaceuticals than all 50 states and any other foreign country.

But after Hurricane Maria ripped through the island, production was mostly shut down. The effects of the shut down are now being felt in the US.

The FDA announced a shortage of IV bags and fluids, and said they are working to resolve the problem.

Local hospitals addressed the nation-wide shortage Thursday.

Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare told WCTV in a statement:

"Hospitals across the country, including Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, have been impacted by the decreased supply of smaller-volume saline and nutrient solutions. We are working with alternative vendors/manufacturers, utilizing adapters to connect with different fluid bag types, and combining solution sizes to reach the desired amount of fluid needed for each patient."

Capital Regional Medical Center also spoke out, saying:

"Capital Regional Medical Center has been, and will continue to, monitor the national shortage of IV bags closely. In the meantime, our scale allows us to share our inventory efficiently within our system and move product to where it is needed most as we manage through this national shortage."

The FDA is working to extend the expiration on existing materials in hospitals across the US and also working to find alternative import sights.

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