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Hospitals across the United States are reporting a shortage of IV bags during one of their busiest seasons. When it hit Puerto Rico past year, it crippled a significant IV bag manufacturer located there. Baxter manufacturers "MINI-BAG", or small-volume parenterals, medicine or liquid that is injected under the skin, and "MINI-BAG Plus Container Systems". The last facility was connected in late December.
"Given the improvements we've seen over the last few weeks, I'm optimistic that supplies of IV saline and amino acids will increase over the next few weeks and the stress of the shortage will begin to abate, even if the shortages will not be fully resolved immediately".
Baystate Health Chief Pharmacy Officer Gary Kerr told 22News that the shortage has also led them to distribute oral medications, but those who are in need of the bags are getting them.
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The worst part of the shortage deals with small saline bags.
While it has been a struggle, the shortage has not affected patient care at CoxHealth.
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"FEMA said, "Come to the US - in this case, come to CT".
Baxter has brought in additional units to the USA market through a recent permanent approval from the FDA for IVs produced in a Baxter North American manufacturing plant. However, they recognize the situation and have made some adjustments to make sure supply is going to where it is needed most.
The potential for a high demand of IV supplies still exists.