Local hospitals impacted by saline shortage

(WISH Photo/Kevin Ratermann)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A nationwide shortage of saline solution is impacting some hospitals here in Indiana.

And it’s all because of a jump in flu patients this season.
Hospitals use saline solution for everything from hydrating patients to administering medication.

The shortage started a couple months ago.

Experts say it’s due to an increased demand for IV fluids because of a worse-than-average flu season. But production problems caused by factory shutdowns complicated it even further.

Now, saline is on a backorder by the three medical suppliers that sell it.

The height of flu season this February is unlikely to help the shortage.

In Western Indiana, St. Vincent Clay Hospital says they can only keep about a weeks worth of the solution on hand. They’re trying to make due with what they have.

As of now, the hospital says they’re told the earliest relief might not be felt until mid-April.

St. Vincent said its local hospitals around Marion County are well stocked and not impacted by the shortage.

IU Health is monitoring the situation, but says they’re doing okay right now. Community Hospitals were checking into their supplies.

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