The U.S is facing a new shortage being ignored by the mainstream media, IV Bags that are used by hospitals to administer various kinds medication. When Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico in September 2017, in the wake of the wreckage and devastation, IV bag manufacturers were unable to produce IV bags for hospitals in the US.

My wife’s nurse had to stand for 30 mins & administer a drug slowly through a syringe because there are almost no IV bags in the continental U.S. anymore. See, they were all manufactured in a Puerto Rican factory which still isn’t fixed. Meanwhile that stupid swollen prick golfs  -Ben Boyer @sleezsisters

The above post not only criticized the Trump Administration but also indirectly shed light on the GOP lawmakers who are not addressing the catastrophes in Puerto Rico. Many are not aware, one of the island’s primary sources of income is the export of IV bags to hospitals in the continental United States.  An analysis published by the FDA in November 2017 stated that prior to the Hurricane, an approximately $800 million in local wages over a period of 12 months outlined the Puerto Rican impact to the manufacturing industry. This manufacturing industry is a key part of the island’s manufacturing base and is supported by a highly skilled workforce The FDA did prioritize access to the some-what stable electrical grid to some manufacturers. The FDA also stated-

 Our next priority is to help ensure manufacturers get back to stable production as soon as possible to ensure supply of critical products to patients across the United States. Our experts will be working closely with local and federal partners to prioritize a small subset of critical facilities – plants that manufacture medically important products that are sourced primarily or only in Puerto Rico – for consideration for earlier access to the rebuilt electrical grid.

What should be concerning to the general public is that due to the inability of the Trump Administration and  lawmakers to address these issues, hospitals and other healthcare facilities are currently running short of IV bags. This will cause various life threatening delays in providing quality healthcare. As it is, Emergency Rooms (ER) around the U.S are facing delays due to various inadequate policies lobbied by groups who do not support healthcare reform. Adding the shortage of IV bags will only add more time to the already suffering ER processes.

The worst part of this story is that the IV bag shortage has not been properly covered by the various cable news networks. The fact is, that it seems that the general media will sit on this story until its too late to do anything, and hospitals around the country have already used their existing IV bag supply.

Medical manufacturer, B. Braun Medical reported to their customers:

Improvements are expected in the coming weeks and months, but we acknowledge that our supply will not meet your comprehensive needs over the short term.

In the interim, The University of Utah and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists have also put together some guidelines for hospitals to use as they consider how best to use the supplies they have; one of those guidelines is to administer medications through an IV push, which was the method suggested in Boyer’s tweet.

The shortage is something that needs to be addressed on a mass scale. IV bags are considered one of the essential tools of medical professionals in hospitals and clinics country wide. If medical professions must continue to practice IV pushes, this will cause not just the wait time to increase but a shortage medical professionals when it comes to addressing other needs at the hospital or clinic. Because the last thing that anyone needs is their loved one suffering any more pain or delays in receiving treatment because there are no more IV bags left.

***Download the 11/03/2017 Puerto Rico Economic Analysis in PDF form below***

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