Tuesday, March 11, 2014

the case of the missing IV bags.

So here is something I didn't know: There is a shortage of normal saline, specifically 1 liter bags. We use a whole lot of saline in the ER. So this affects us greatly.  The FDA's suggestion: Use smaller bags or think about alternatives.

I don't know why there is a shortage...could it be we use too much??? Could it be that every Tom, Dick and Harry who comes into the ER gets a liter of saline even if they don't need it? I've often thought we should just have an IV station in triage. Everybody who comes in gets an IV out there.  That way they will already be in place and save a lot of time.  Everybody gets one anyway, so what the hell?

Wouldn't it be nice if, with this shortage, doctors began to rethink starting all of these unnecessary IV's.  Uh oh  -there I go, using common sense again. Thinking that people can actually drink water. Foolish.

In trauma, this will be a problem.  You can't exactly use 500 cc bags in the rapid infuser. Maybe LR will be used, who knows?


Elizabeth Scala said...

We've got emails about this too at our institution. When I received them, I was like "What? How can this be? How do you run out of saline?" So interesting. And yes, we do use it all of the time so the recommendation to 'use less' just won't work. What an interesting turn of events. Glad to read I'm not the only one. Enjoy your day, Elizabeth

pineapple rn said...

Yesterday one of our PA's ordered a bag of saline for a patient with a "cold". Seriously! He said he was "doing the guy a favor"!!! The patient went home after labs, IV fluids and chest xray with a diagnosis of Upper Respiratory Infection. Of course, he had no insurance.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, who would've thought there would be a shortage of 1 liter normal saline bags. I believe that they do give an IV plenty of times when it's not necessary. If someone does need fluid but not with immediate urgency then they should be able to just drink water, unless there was a reason they could not physically drink it. What is the world coming to; before you know it there will be a shortage of other simple things. Mostly because we're just being wasteful and using things without regard to our resources. People think things are just always going to be around and never run out. -MH