Dear Colleagues,

As many of you may know, we have been engulfed in a nationwide shortage of IV solutions since Hurricanes Irma, Jose, and Maria hit the US. Initially, this shortage primarily affected ASCs but predictably the effect is now directly felt in hospitals, too; in fact just yesterday the Washington Post published a piece addressing this matter (link below). Hurricane Maria was especially devastating as it affected Puerto Rico, a major IV solution manufacturing hub. This shortage is forecast to last for the foreseeable future. Included with this e-mail are:

  1. The public statements from the manufactures Baxter, and B Braun and McKesson, our distributor, addressing the scope of this situation and its impact on the supply pipe line of IV solutions and many other important medications and products.
  2. A definition of the austerity measures implemented in allocation and distribution until the supply disruption is resolved.

We recommend using saline locks for all procedures in which the use of IV solutions is deemed optional. This should be a perfectly safe and practical alternative to IV solutions in the majority of our patients. The specific products are:

McKesson Item # 306546 – 10ml Syringe BD PosiFlush.
McKesson Item # MX252L Smiths Medical, which comes with a 3-way stop cock.

We understand and share the concerns you may have regarding this supply disruption and patient care. We will work very closely with our suppliers in an attempt to alleviate the effects of this system wide, inescapable shortage on our facilities. Please understand that we are trying to do everything in our capacity to support you in this predicament including reaching out to other vendors on your behalf.

Should you require further assistance, please feel free to contact myself or Crystal Gallagher in Supply Chain.

Here is a link to the Washington Post article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2017/10/09/hospitals-scramble-to-avert-saline-shortage-in-wake-of-puerto-rico-disaster/

Truly,

Yousif A-Rahim, M.D.,Ph.D.