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Health & Science

EMS Operators Make Contingency Plans In Case Of Long Term I-V Supply Shortages

Central fire station, Massillon, OH
City of Massillon website
Massillon main fire station

As hospitals in Northeast Ohio and across the country continue monitoring problems in the supply chain of I-V needles, bags and pre-packaged fluids, EMS operators are growing concerned, too. 

When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, it hit three manufacturing plants of the world’s biggest IV equipment provider.  Those are back on line but supply levels won’t likely recover until Spring.

In Massillon, the fire department EMS has a three-month IV reserve. Chief Tom Burgasser says they have backup plans, too.

“If we ever got down to about a months’ worth of the physical needles or the supplies that way, we would adjust protocols. In borderline cases, or times when we might help the hospital out and start IVs, we’re not doing that unless it’s indicated for specific reasons.” 

Burgasser says the Fire Department EMS made 3,000 runs using emergency IVs last year.