A spike in flu activity has led to a shortage of intravenous (IV) solutions, particularly saline, which is used millions of times a week to treat dehydration and other flu symptoms, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced. Read more: Flu causes IV saline shortage, visitor restrictions at hospitals - FierceHealthcare www.fiercehealthcare.com... Subscribe at FierceHealthcare
FDA's Jensen said the agency is also looking into alternative sources, including overseas suppliers, to help address the shortage.
The shortage is apparently due to increased demand for intravenous fluids over the last month because of a worse-than-average flu season, in addition to production problems caused by planned factory shutdowns over the recent holidays.
Manufacturers first notified FDA late last year that they expected delays in filling orders, but an increase in hospitalizations two weeks ago partly due to rising numbers of flu cases exacerbated the problem, she said.