AHA urges FDA to address saline bag shortage

The American Hospital Association sent a letter to the FDA urging the agency to address the worsening shortage of parenteral solutions, such as saline bags, dextrose and intravenous nutritional products.

The AHA, on behalf of its nearly 5,000 member hospitals, health systems and other healthcare organizations, called the current shortages unacceptable and a threat to patient care.

"We are concerned that the shortages of widely-used and critical products are quickly becoming a crisis and looming threat to the public's health," the letter reads. "Therefore, we call on the FDA to both vigorously pursue strategies with the current manufacturers of these products and to seek out new suppliers in order to ameliorate the current shortage, as well as prevent such shortages from occurring in the future."

In addition, the AHA says hospitals are currently managing the shortfall by switching patients to alternative products. Yet, they call these alternatives a short-term solution.

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