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National IV fluid shortage

by Medical Staff Office on January 28, 2014

Please be aware that the national shortage on saline solutions for IV infusion continues and is expected to remain for some time. Thank you for your efforts to conserve this product and use alternative approaches whenever possible.

Baxter, our IV Solution vendor, has been experiencing shortages on various IV solutions. This is a national issue affecting all fluid manufacturers. We have been able to receive product intermittently, but it has been under constant watch by Supply Chain, Pharmacy and the Vendor Sales Rep. We may need to reach out to have substitute sizes and products approved at some point. If and when those communications are forwarded out to the end users a timely response will help to ensure that Supply Chain can then obtain the substitute product from the vendor.

Below is a statement from Baxter regarding how they are managing the process:

  • Baxter is producing and filling orders daily but demand is exceeding supply on some codes.
  •  We have taken steps to prevent non-contract customers from ordering product.
  • All other critical codes are being pooled at our large warehouse in NY, Atlanta and Memphis.
  • The most critical supply problem is 2B1324X, normal saline 1000ml. As a result of this shortage, customers are subbing 2B2324X Lactated Ringers and D5W which is now backordered.
  •  The smaller sizes of both codes are now stocked out nationwide.
  •  We anticipate the rolling backorders to continue for a few months but each week brings better inventory levels.

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Hospital supply of Sodium Chloride (0.9NS), Dextrose 5% and alternative IV-fluids s.a. Lactated Ringers may be quickly exhausted.

It is recommended that you:

  •  Conserve IV Fluid prescribing when possible – discontinue unneeded IV fluids early.
  • Consider using oral hydration whenever possible.
  • Use smaller bag sizes with low rate infusions when a full liter isn’t needed.
  • Switch to alternate products to match availability. Consider using alternative fluids such as Ringer’s lactate, dextrose containing solutions or lower concentrations of sodium chloride when your patient’s condition allows.
  • Never use saline irrigation solution for intravenous use.

Supply Chain and Pharmacy will continue to provide updates as the situation changes. Please share this with your teams. We appreciate your understanding as we strive to treat our patients during these shortages.

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