Flu patient surge hits hospitals amid sterile fluid shortage


TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – An ongoing shortage of fluids used to deliver medicine and treat dehydrated patients has hospital workers scrambling in the midst of a nasty flu season.

Supplies from factories in storm-ravaged Puerto Rico that make much of the U.S. supply have been slow to rebound after hurricanes cut off the power.

Flu season has turned out to be a bad one and it came early, bringing patients in need of fluids into hospitals already running low.

Hospital officials, pharmacists, and other staff have been devising alternatives and workarounds. They’re also hitting the phones to try to secure fluids from secondary suppliers.

Health officials are concerned that the new procedures and products could lead to errors.

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