Area Hospitals Scrambling For Saline Solution Amid Rising Shortage

By Lynne Adkins

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — An increase in the number of flu cases here and across the country is affecting hospital supplies.

Hospitals are scrambling for supplies of intravenous saline solution.  Millions of the bags are used by health care facilities every week.

US Navy Capt. Valerie Jensen, a registered pharmacist and the FDA’s associate director of drug shortages, says some facilities are down to just a few days’ supply as the three companies that manufacture the product work to increase production.

(Capt. Valerie Jensen.)

(Capt. Valerie Jensen.)

“In the last two weeks the companies have experienced a large increase in demand, and so they are responding to that demand and are telling us they are doing everything they can to increase supplies,” Jensen tells KYW Newsradio.

She says manufacturing issues and an increase in flu cases are to blame.

An official at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia admits they, too, have been dealing with the problem and are trying to secure alternative products.

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