Hospitals Experiencing Shortages Of IV Bags, Tamiflu

Published: Tuesday, January 9, 2018 - 4:28pm
Updated: Thursday, January 11, 2018 - 1:38pm
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Hospitals nationwide are experiencing a shortage of intravenous bags, or IV bags. This comes as the number of flu cases are accelerating. Another casualty of the increase in flu cases is the shortage of Tamiflu, the antiviral medication that treats the flu. 

This shortage is mainly of the smaller, about 3-ounce IV bags, and it’s happening as a result of Hurricane Maria. It turns out, the manufacturing plant that makes the majority of these small IV bags is in Puerto Rico.

So, the factory was out of commission for some time after the hurricane hit, and that’s created a serious shortage since IV bags are used all the time at hospitals.

The Information Services Department at the University of Utah tracks shortages like these, and, for more on this, I spoke with Erin Fox, senior director of Drug Information Services there. She says even though an IV bag doesn’t sound like the most essential thing a hospital needs, a shortage of them can really affect things.

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