Monday, January 01, 2018

Hurricane Maria Caused IV Bag Shortage Across US

"My wife's nurse had to stand for 30 mins and administer a drug slowly through a syringe because there are almost no IV bags in the continental U.S. anymore. See, they were all manufactured in a Puerto Rican factory which still isn't fixed," [Ben Boyer] wrote. "Meanwhile that stupid swollen --- golfs," he added. The tweet spread like wildfire. By Saturday morning, it had more than 100,000 likes and 62,000 retweets. "I think probably it wouldn't have blown up without that there," Boyer said of his allusion to President Trump in an interview with Newsweek. "I don't regret it. Those are very much the words that I feel. But this stuff goes beyond that."

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"This stuff" is the lingering shortage of medical supplies -- specifically, bags of saline -- that hospitals, the pharmaceutical company Baxter, and the Food and Drug Administration have been trying to address since Hurricane Maria struck the island on September 20, over 100 days ago. (However, an FDA spokesperson noted, though the shortage is ongoing, it would be inaccurate to say there were "almost no IV bags in the continental U.S. anymore.")

Comments

Did Hurricane Maria Cause an IV Bag Shortage Across the United States?

A California man's account brought to light one of the lesser-known aftereffects of the fatal storm.

Claim: United States health care facilities face an intravenous bag shortage because of the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Maria in September 2017.

Rating: True https://www.snopes.com/did-maria-cause-an-iv-bag-shortage/

Sparky‏ @SageTheSpark

Oncology RN here. I give chemotherapy and biotherapy infusions. The saline bags impacted are 50ml to 500ml (PR is the WORLD'S largest manufacturer of these). We have to give ALL premedications via slow IV push now. It's real and the impact on the work force is HUGE.

And while syringe pumps are a potential fix, think about the prolific cost to get tens of thousands purchased and into place at infusion centers/hospitals. Non profit healthcare facilities will be hard pressed to find that $ in their budgets in the immediate future.

In the interim, also consider the waste of resources of an RN tied down to give slow push meds. That's time not spent assessing other patients & responding to clinical needs. One day this week I spent 65 mins pushing premeds between 2 patients. twitter.com

#1 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-12-30 11:48 PM

#1 Clickable link:

www.snopes.com

#2 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-12-30 11:49 PM

Capitalism will solve this by vastly increasing the price of IV bags which will more efficiently distribute IV bags.

IV bags should go to those who can pay the most, not according to need.

#3 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-12-31 12:30 AM

Thank God it wasn't a colostomy bag shortage. Imagine the --- storm that'd cause.

#4 | Posted by madscientist at 2017-12-31 12:36 AM

A little history. A few years ago the FDA decided it would be a good idea to change the production protocols so that all IV fluids had to be produced via robotics. Basically they decided that it would eliminate human error and thus increase QC. The problem is that they effectively put all but about 3 manufacturers out of business. 1 was i Puerto Rico, 1 in Houston, and the 3rd I think was in California. As I learned, Baxter and Cardinal had already sent out shortage notices prior to the Hurricanes. And then the Hurricanes happened.

#5 | Posted by Bogey1355 at 2017-12-31 05:03 PM

A little history. A few years ago the FDA decided it would be a good idea to change the production protocols so that all IV fluids had to be produced via robotics. Basically they decided that it would eliminate human error and thus increase QC. The problem is that they effectively put all but about 3 manufacturers out of business. 1 was i Puerto Rico, 1 in Houston, and the 3rd It

#6 | Posted by bogey1355 at 2017-12-31 05:04 PM

#6 | POSTED BY BOGEY1355 AT 2017-12-31 05:04 PM | FLAG: One can see how govt rules and regulations are always a good thing, right? You go FDA!

#7 | Posted by MSgt at 2018-01-01 03:53 PM

Congressmen who's inaction hurt Puerto Rico may just end up killing their own family members due to lack of medical supplies.

#8 | Posted by Tor at 2018-01-01 04:04 PM

#6 | POSTED BY BOGEY1355 AT 2017-12-31 05:04 PM | FLAG: One can see how govt rules and regulations are always a good thing, right? You go FDA!

#7 | POSTED BY MSGT

So government rules and regulations are always a bad thing?

Or was this a good regulation that ended up with a bad situation due to a natural disaster and complete inaction on the Federal government's part in remedying the aftermath?

#9 | Posted by Sycophant at 2018-01-02 11:13 AM

So government rules and regulations are always a bad thing?
#9 | POSTED BY SYCOPHANT AT 2018-01-02 11:13 AM | FLAG: Did not say that, but in this case the directive/rule put two of the three providers of the product out of business. What I will say is that the govt needs to do a better job of evaluating a rule with consideration of end effect on those it imposes upon, as in this case The Law Of Unintended Consequences has bit us in the ass!

#10 | Posted by MSgt at 2018-01-02 01:14 PM

Is there a link to prove this robot iv bag thing?

I see hospitals prefer the robot because of a meningitis outbreak and the robot makes no mistakes and is more productive....

#11 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2018-01-02 11:42 PM

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