Arkansas/Oklahoma Life Saving Drug Shortage Caused By Hurricane

LEFLORE COUNTY (KFSM) -- A shortage of life saving drugs is causing  local hospitals and emergency medical services to get creative when it comes to caring for patients.

When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in the fall it wiped out a major manufacturer to the U.S. that produced iv bags that.... sometimes contained saline solution.

Medical professionals use the bags and solution and in most health care scenarios is a critical part of their daily care routines.

Many hospitals and EMS workers,  such as in LeFlore County, are using alternative routes by using less fluids or compounding medications in hopes of preserving the supply they currently have.

"This national back order that we are seeing with these medications is not only hurting us because it's hard to get a hold of medications," said LeFlore County EMS Director Jeff Fishel, "it's also hurting us because the price of these medications have gone up dramatically."

Local medical professionals said a manufacturing facility in Ireland is currently trying to streamline the process of producing IV fluid solution bags and saline in an effort of alleviating the shortage in the U.S.