Startsman said even though they've seen an influx of patients due to flu season and other viruses going around, they have not run out of the saline solution just yet. The company's factories were only reconnected to the power grid in late December, three months after Maria made landfall on the island, according to FiercePharma.
While this shortage is a hard situation to manage, Startsman said that it is nothing the hospital hasn't dealt with before.
The delegation was scheduled to meet with Massachusetts State Troopers who are helping the recovery effort, visit a children's hospital, a health center, and a shelter, and receive a briefing from homeland security officials. For instance, syringe supplies are running low because many patients are now getting injections instead of IV drips.
Kyle Startsman, a pharmacist at the hospital, said that by being on top of the issue, they have been able to keep their supply lasting.
Deliveries of those have been most unpredictable, said David Chen, a pharmacy director with Promedica, which operates 13 hospitals in OH and MI. Others are having them trickle in.
The FDA has been trying to boost supplies, giving two additional companies approval to start selling saline bags, likely within a couple months.
Baxter says it's been shipping those to U.S. hospitals since October, but hospital officials say that hasn't been enough.
"These drug shortages are nothing new to health care", said Startsman.
"Many were significantly impacted because of the power outages that occurred across the island", said Director of Clinical Pharmacy Services at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, Jason Hoffman.
To preserve their supply of saline, Startsman said the hospital has been turning to alternative solutions to use in their IV's.
"I have never seen anything quite this bad", said Sullivan, the group's head of research and innovation.
Hospitals have been substituting pills for IV-administered drugs when possible, changing dosing schedules or injecting drugs directly into a vein, using what's called I.V. push.
He says historically, they give 1,500 IV bags a day, and that's not including basic replacement fluid for patients.