National IV bag shortage hits Montana - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

National IV bag shortage hits Montana

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The nation is facing a shortage of IV fluid bags making it challenging to treat the influx of flu patients.

Many of the IV bags are manufactured by a company in Puerto Rico, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria, crippling the company.

Many hospitals nationwide are feeling the strain and hospitals in Montana are no different.

St. Vincent Healthcare said they have taken precautions to minimize their IV use in order to save as many IV bags as they can.

Director of Pharmacy, Lonnye Finneman said it has been a challenge but they're doing everything they can to make sure their patients get the best care possible.

He said they've been looking at alternative therapies and treatments to save resources.

With flu season being particularly bad this year and patients needing IV fluids to stay hydrated Finneman said they reserve some of the fluids and work on switching patients to a different method of treatment once they're hydrated.

Finneman said patient's don't need to worry about the shortage; " they should have comfort in knowing that the hospitals are able to get the supply at this point that they're needed. It is a national shortage so all hospitals are taking measures to try and conserve as much as possible to have the medications that they need. But fortunately, we have been able to provide the treatments that are necessary so patients are getting adequate treatment at the facility."

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