Nationwide IV bag shortage affecting local hospitals

Published: Jan. 11, 2018 at 9:15 PM AKST
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Fairbanks Memorial Hospital is coping with a nationwide IV bag shortage linked to the Puerto Rico hurricane.

The production of bags plummeted after the disaster in Puerto Rico cut power to Baxter International, which makes the majority of the United States' supply.

This left the hospital scrambling for solutions; but they've managed to ration the bags and deliver service to patients without serious impacts so far.

Marc Rowden; Director of Pharmacy>>: "What may be administered in a bag one time becomes administered via syringe another time. So it's still getting the medication to the patient, the way it's ordered by the physician, but it might be a different mechanism."

Karen Justin Tanner; Chief Nursing Officer>>: So our nurses are getting extra education to know the differences in how we're going to deliver the medicines.

Dr. Danny Robinette; Chief Medical Officer>>: "They'll be back to full production in March, but it will probably be summer before they get the backlog all caught up. So we're expecting this will probably be an issue until May or June."