MGH 'Scrambling' After Hurricane-Related IV Bag Shortage

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- The Chief of Emergency Preparedness at Massachusetts General Hospital said they have been hit with a shortage of IV bags--all because of Hurricane Maria.

Dr. Paul Biddinger tells WBZ NewsRadio 1030 that they're dealing with a serious shortage.

"With Hurricane Maria, some of the nation's manufacturing capability for IV fluid bags was taken offline for many months," he said. "We're all running very short, and we're scrambling to find alternatives."

Dr. Biddinger said that, right now, they are doing a good job of securing alternatives--but he's worried about maintaining the level of service, should the shortage continue.

"We have been taking a lot of action to adapt using a team of nurses, doctors, pharmacists to choose equivalent therapies," he said. "But what we're really worried about is, we're starting to get to a point where we don't have too many adaptation strategies left."

IV bags are invaluable in a hospital--used not only to provide fluids to patients, but also to deliver medicines like antibiotics and chemotherapy.

Dr. Biddinger is worried there may come a time when the hospital has to decrease the level of care they provide because of the shortage.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Carl Stevens reports

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