The scarcity leads back to Hurricane Maria. When the storm hit Puerto Rico in September, it disrupted production at one of the island’s major suppliers of IV bags, CBS News reports.
The small bags deliver intravenous fluids and medications to patients. The deficit has led hospital personnel to deliver meds in more time-consuming ways.
“This is a nationwide problem which is part of what makes it so hard is that we can't borrow from any other hospital,” Paul Biddinger, chief of the division of emergency preparedness at Massachusetts General Hospital, told CBS.
There’s some good news. On Jan. 4, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb reported that power has been restored to Baxter, the medical supply facility in Puerto Rico, and things are improving.
“We expect that the shortage of IV saline fluids will improve in early 2018, with continuing improvements in the weeks ahead,” Scott said in a statement.
To avoid coming down with the flu, the CDC recommends getting a flu shot and taking everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs.