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Medical News & Perspectives |

Nationwide IV Fluid Shortage Threatens Care

Bridget M. Kuehn, MSJ
JAMA. 2014;311(18):1843-1844. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.3647.
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Since mid-January, the nurses at the Coastal Cancer Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, have been spending several hours each week tracking down suppliers who can provide the intravenous (IV) solutions necessary for patients scheduled to receive chemotherapy. If they are unsuccessful, Vijay Paudel, MD, an oncologist at the facility, is faced with the onerous decision of which patients will get their treatments and who will have to wait.

“The bottom line is that patients end up not getting treatment,” Paudel said. “We are fortunate it hasn’t happened much, but once is too much.”

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The US Food and Drug Administration has averted some new drug shortages in recent years, but the total number remains high as a result of unresolved shortages.

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