The Flu’s Impact on IV Saline Shortages
This year’s severe flu season may continue to further impact the IV saline shortage, which worsened last fall after Hurricanes Maria and Irma struck Puerto Rico. “The tight supply of saline products has been exacerbated by an increased demand for saline we’re seeing as a result of the worse-than-typical flu season. ... As such, we encourage healthcare organizations and hospitals to contact FDA directly if they aren’t receiving the products they need,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, in a statement.
FDA is also asking IV saline manufacturers to submit data to extend expiration dates for products. “If expiration dates can be safety extended, it would allow some near-expiry product that remains at the hospital level to be used,” Gottlieb said.
Updates, including new supply sources and extensions of expiration dating, will be posted on the FDA’s drug shortage website as soon as they’re available.