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San Diego Hospitals Grappling With Shortage Of IV Bags

UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest is shown in this undated photo.

Credit: UC Medical Center

Above: UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest is shown in this undated photo.

A nationwide shortage of small IV bags has forced hospitals in San Diego to come up with other options.

The disruption was caused by the September hurricane that devastated Puerto Rico. The island is home to a number of pharmaceutical factories, including one of the major manufacturers of small saline bags.

These products are widely used to hydrate patients and administer drugs.

Dr. Angela Scioscia, chief medical officer of UC San Diego Health, said clinical staff are using larger IV bags as a workaround. But she added the shortage has been a wakeup call.

"The need to have redundancy in the supply system has become very apparent, " Scioscia explained. "And I don't think it was clear to many of us that our supply was this vulnerable."

Scioscia pointed out that patient care has not been adversely affected.

A nationwide shortage of small IV bags has forced hospitals in San Diego to come up with other options.

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