N.H. Hospitals Dealing With Ongoing Shortages of IV Supplies Manufactured in Puerto Rico

Dec 29, 2017

It’s been 100 days since Hurricane Maria battered Puerto Rico, knocking out power for much of the island — including to major suppliers of IV solutions and other medical products.

Hospitals across New Hampshire, including Catholic Medical Center, are feeling the pinch.

CMC Communications Director Lauren Collins Cline says the hospital has run out of one kind of IV solution (Dextrose 5% Injection) in the aftermath of the hurricane but is using other alternatives until supplies are restored.

For now, the hospital is trying its best to use its dwindling supply of other IV products as carefully as possible amid uncertainty about when those supplies will be replenished.

"We've been trying to look at our use of IV bags, and particularly the sizes that have been most impacted, and determine whether there are ways that we can get around giving patients hydration or medication in that way," Collins Cline said. "So if a patient can receive a medication orally, we’ll take that route. If a patient can be hydrated in a way that doesn’t need the IV bag, we’ll take that route."

Other hospitals around New Hampshire have reported similar issues.

Last month, the FDA said it was monitoring about 90 different types of medical products impacted by the Hurricane Maria. The agency said it was working to restore production or find other sources of the items as quickly as possible.