Denville Officers Among Those Honored for Puerto Rico Aid

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Some hospitals across the country are now using injections instead of IV drips to deliver drugs, but that can lead to shortages of syringes.

He says being part of a larger health care system they're better able to utilize and distribute their resources and minimize unnecessary use of IV fluids and access more if need be.

"Many were significantly impacted because of the power outages that occurred across the island", said Director of Clinical Pharmacy Services at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, Jason Hoffman. "I see it as a crisis".

Several noted a cascade effect, with new shortages created as hospitals all try the same workarounds. "The Mahoning campus and the Akron campus have worked together to form a committee to conserve IV fluids as much as possible and look at different ways of administering our medications to stretch our supply".

Rear Admiral Tim Gallaudet says Hurricane Maria left a massive data gap that hindered the weather forecast and warning operations in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

In the meantime, Children's Hospital says it has been fortunate. And Baxter International was given the OK to temporarily import sterile fluids from 6 overseas factories.

"There are concerns nationwide that facilities will not be able to keep up with the supply issues", said Freije.

Nutrient solution bags, also running low, are needed for far fewer patients than saline, but there are few substitutes, said Connie Sullivan, head of research and innovation at the National Home Infusion Association.

Those methods can cut down on valuable time to check in on other patients.

"I have never seen anything quite this bad", Sullivan said. "But we have not had to alter our practice whatsoever", said Heaton.

"We should learn something about patient care from this", he said.

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