NORFOLK-There's a shortage of intravenous (IV) solutions, particularly saline injections, used to rehydrate the body and for other conditions.
The shortage has been triggered by a range of factors including a reported increased demand by hospitals, potentially related to the flu season, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
Millions of I.V. solutions are used each week. It's one of the most used products in hospitals.
Director of Pharmacy for Sentara Norfolk General Don Durkee says they will be okay for two to three weeks.
On Tuesday, Norfolk General ordered 12 sodium chloride boxes but received five boxes, so Durkee had to design an alternative IV solution.
Their primary alternative is a sugar/salt water combination, rather than just salt water.
The government says it's working to find sources to supplement the supply from Baxter Healthcare Corp., B.Braun Medical Inc., and Hospira Inc.