Saline shortages are expected through the end of the year because of:
- A 20 % rise in demand of saline from January to March 2014.
- Harsh winter weather delayed saline deliveries to providers.
- An increased demand with decreased product availability.
- More stringent Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspections to ensure product sterility since:
- Saline has been contaminated with bacteria, mold and glass particles.
- FDA discovered leaks in saline bags.
Those who require hydration may not receive it such as:
- Individuals undergoing dialysis
- Patients in an acute care setting
In response to the saline shortage RNs are encouraged to:
- Revise policy and protocols to conserve supplies.
- Use smaller saline bags when possible.
- Transition patients who are able to tolerate oral hydration to drink water.
- Consider importing FDA approved saline from Spain and Norway.