Local power crews head to Puerto Rico

Orlando Sanford International Airport									SOURCE Orlando Sanford International Airport

Right now hospitals across the nation and here in West Texas a shortage of IV fluids.

Franciscan Health says it's IV fluid bag supply will not run out anytime soon, but they are running low on other options.

TRENTON, N.J. - An ongoing shortage of fluids used to deliver medicine and treat dehydrated patients has hospital workers scrambling in the midst of a nasty flu season and supplies from factories in storm-ravaged Puerto Rico have been slow to rebound.

"We're going to Puerto Rico to see firsthand the devastation on the island and how we can help our fellow citizens along the path to a full recovery", they added.

Several noted a cascade effect, with new shortages created as hospitals all try the same workarounds.

Officials say the major shortage of IV fluid bags comes after Hurricane Maria wiped out power at major medical supply distributors in Puerto Rico.

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Sarrah Hein is Pharmacy Manager for Akron Children's hospital in Mahoning County.

In the Danbury area, hospitals have felt a disruption in their supply of IV bags, but have so far been able to push through, said Andrea Rynn, a representative of the Western Connecticut Health Network, which includes Danbury and New Milford hospitals. "We're starting to put a lot of drugs in syringes instead that would normally be in a 50-100 ml bag", said Kevin Pendleton Director of Pharmacy Services at McLaren Northern Michigan. And Baxter International was given the OK to temporarily import sterile fluids from 6 overseas factories.

"It's just never been this bad before".

Hospitals have been substituting pills for IV-administered drugs when possible, changing dosing schedules or injecting drugs directly into a vein, what's called I.V. push.

"What we need to make sure the patients and the public know is that this is impacting everybody across the country", said Cunningham.

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