Multiple St.Louis-area hospitals monitoring national IV bag shor - KMOV.com

Multiple St.Louis-area hospitals monitoring national IV bag shortage

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(Credit: AP Photo/Julie Jacobson) (Credit: AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

ST.LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) – A national wide IV bag shortage has hospitals in the St. Louis area keeping a close eye on whether or not the shortage will affect some pharmaceuticals.

One of the biggest manufacturers of intravenous bags is in Puerto Rico. There were 27 factories damaged in Hurricane Maria.

BJC Hospital officials, including Children’s and Barnes-Jewish say the shortage is a serious concern.

Barnes-Jewish Hospital issued a response of behalf of all BJC Hospitals: 

This has been a serious concern for all health care providers. The manufacturing shortage impacts essential pharmaceutical products used in hospitals and health care environments on a daily basis. Our goal at BJC is to ensure we are able to sustain care across our health system through collaborative management of our collective available inventory.

To date, there has been no impact on patients due to the shortage. We are working closely with our clinicians and clinical pharmacists to implement ongoing strategies to conserve affected products such as normal saline, including recommendations for using alternative delivery methods, using alternative suppliers, and obtaining products from FDA-approved alternative manufacturers. FDA approval of the import of normal saline from outside of the United States has strengthened the supply availability of several products in recent weeks. In addition, some manufacturers have reported increased production capacity at their plants in Puerto Rico as the situation improves.

BJC HealthCare has been centrally monitoring and internally managing the shortage since the plants shut down, and we have optimized our inventory over the past several months.

We continue to closely manage our inventory on a daily basis. Like health care organizations across the country, we are managing to the best of our ability in an effort to prevent or minimize any potential impact on patients. 

Hospital officials say they are working to conserve these products by giving the medicine used in a different way and using an alternative supplier.

SSM Health St. Louis stated Tuesday that they are also paying close attention to IV bag shortages: 

This is something we’ve been paying close attention to. There is an IV bag shortage in the U.S. however SSM Health is not facing a shortage at this time. There are two manufacturers of IV bags and we use the company that was not affected by the hurricane in Puerto Rico. We are however keeping a very close eye on this and are having weekly meetings to monitor the situation.

St. Anthony’s hospital told News 4 they are making minor adjustments at this time:

We’ve had to make some adjustments, but nothing that affects patients or that patients would even notice. Things like purchasing from different suppliers than our usual vendors when necessary and using different size bags. The most effective thing we did was coordinate with the other Mercy hospitals to share our resources.

Overall, St.Louis area hospitals say there is no patient impact.

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