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Medical News & Perspectives
May 14, 2014

Nationwide IV Fluid Shortage Threatens Care

JAMA. 2014;311(18):1843-1844. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.3647

Since mid-January, the nurses at the Coastal Cancer Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, have been spending several hours each week tracking down suppliers who can provide the intravenous (IV) solutions necessary for patients scheduled to receive chemotherapy. If they are unsuccessful, Vijay Paudel, MD, an oncologist at the facility, is faced with the onerous decision of which patients will get their treatments and who will have to wait.

“The bottom line is that patients end up not getting treatment,” Paudel said. “We are fortunate it hasn’t happened much, but once is too much.”

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