Effects of hurricane season create shortage of key medical supply

1 year 7 months 2 days ago Tuesday, January 16 2018 Jan 16, 2018 Tuesday, January 16, 2018 6:22:00 PM CST January 16, 2018 in News
By: Lydia Nusbaum, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

OSAGE BEACH - Mid-Missouri hospitals are facing shortages of IV bags as doctors scramble against a particularly difficult flu season.

One reason for the shortage: Hurricane Maria knocked out power for weeks in Puerto Rico, one of the largest manufacturers of IV fluid bags.

IV fluids are used to help hydrate patients or give medication. Lake Regional Medical Center Director of Pharmacy Mike Dow said both of those things are often needed for flu patients, which there are a lot of right now.

"A lot of times their blood pressures are very low, so when they're admitted it's really a serious health concern," Dow said. "So not only are we fighting low blood pressure with drugs that treat that, but also just getting more fluids into the patient helps them feel better."

The center doesn't have enough of the bags sized to administer medicine, but it's getting creative. Dow said staff is taking fluid from each of the low-stock one-liter bags and pumping it into 20 of the smaller bags.

"They are not just as available as they used to be," Dow said. "We can still get some, but we can't get enough to meet our every day needs."

Lake Regional is constantly trying to find the bags for purchase.

"We work the phones every day," Dow said. "It's a day-by-day issue for us because, whenever we can get some supply, that means we don't have to make as much in-house. But as soon as that supply dries up, which it does, then we have to revert back to making our own."

Boone Hospital Center is experiencing an IV shortage as well. The hospital's parent company, BJC HealthCare, said it is a "serious concern" for health care providers.

The company said in a statement "the manufacturing shortage impacts essential pharmaceutical products used in hospitals and health care environments on a daily basis."

BJC HealthCare said patients have not been impacted by the shortage, but are monitoring and optimizing their inventory. 

MU Health Care in Columbia said it's been closely managing its stock of IV bags over the last several months. Staff there have twice daily meetings to talk about supplies and needs.

St. Mary's Hospital in Jefferson City said it's also keeping a close eye on things, but it hasn't been impacted by the shortage yet.

Dow said he is hopeful plants will be back up and running in the next three months. 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Businesses who are applying for their medical marijuana licenses in Columbia are one step closer after Monday night's... More >>
2 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 6:40:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
MID-MISSOURI - Finding the perfect parking spot can be a hassle, but it can be even more difficult if you... More >>
3 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 6:30:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Construction crews are continuing to work on both Jefferson City public high schools in preparation for classes... More >>
3 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 5:45:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
VIENNA - Multiple suspects are currently being questioned after officials said someone intentionally started the house fire leading to an... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 3:59:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The FEMA recovery center for Cole County closed its doors Tuesday. The center helped hundreds of... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 3:51:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — State officials say an improving economy is one of several factors that led to close to... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 3:39:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - An increased focus on climate change from legislature and activists has prompted utilities providers to implement renewable energies... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 2:09:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- A group of Missouri protesters are taking a stand against self-driving trucks in the state. Over 29... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 1:47:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A Cole County judge issued a restraining order Monday against Senate Bill 391, regarding regulation of concentrated... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 1:25:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS — Major League Soccer has awarded the next expansion franchise to St. Louis, where a new downtown stadium... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 12:33:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY — A former teacher at a Catholic school in Kansas City alleges in a lawsuit that she was... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 10:15:00 AM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Cole County FEMA Disaster Relief Center in Jefferson City is wrapping up operations on Tuesday, but... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 3:04:00 AM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Department of Health and Senior Services received over 2,100 medical marijuana facility applications by the deadline.... More >>
1 day ago Monday, August 19 2019 Aug 19, 2019 Monday, August 19, 2019 7:37:00 PM CDT August 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Going grocery shopping Tuesday could impact more than just your own home. Lucky's Market and The Food Bank... More >>
1 day ago Monday, August 19 2019 Aug 19, 2019 Monday, August 19, 2019 6:26:00 PM CDT August 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri and the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital announced and signed a partnership to... More >>
1 day ago Monday, August 19 2019 Aug 19, 2019 Monday, August 19, 2019 3:40:00 PM CDT August 19, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY -- The Jefferson City Memorial Airport could face demolition after suffering major flood damages. Airport officials are... More >>
1 day ago Monday, August 19 2019 Aug 19, 2019 Monday, August 19, 2019 2:08:00 PM CDT August 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Boone Hospital Board of Trustees announced Monday that the hospital will pursue independent operations beginning in late... More >>
1 day ago Monday, August 19 2019 Aug 19, 2019 Monday, August 19, 2019 2:03:00 PM CDT August 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The city of Columbia is approved a plan that would put brighter lights in the city's downtown area.... More >>
1 day ago Monday, August 19 2019 Aug 19, 2019 Monday, August 19, 2019 1:54:00 PM CDT August 19, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 77°
10pm 80°
11pm 79°
12am 78°
1am 78°