Local hospitals dealing with nationwide shortage of IV saline bags

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) Hospitals in the Mid-Ohio Valley are being affected by a nationwide shortage of IV saline bags. resulting from the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

A spokesman for Camden Clark Medical Center in Parkersburg says the hospital faced a saline shortage before Hurricane Maria, and the storm made it worse.

Jennifer Offenberger, of Memorial Health System in Marietta, says hospital officials are doing daily monitoring and “using alternative methods to manage care for patients” whenever possible.

Even though the shortage is happening at the height of what's been a devastating flu season, both hospitals say quality of patient care has not been an issue.

Offenberger says there are regular meetings with the pharmacy leaders, and information about the shortage is communicated to other hospital employees on a regular basis.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, is among several members of Congress urging the Food and Drug Administration to address the situation.

The IV fluid bags are used for many critical medical procedures, including rehydration and delivery of medications.

Currently, Brown says the FDA is allowing saline products to be imported from other countries to help relieve the shortage.

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