Nationwide Drug Shortage Affecting St. Louis Area Preemies

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — It’s sounds like a third world problem — hospitals rationing, hoarding and bartering critical IV nutrients that premature babies need to survive.

But its not happening on the other side of the world. It’s happening right here in St. Louis.

The director of pharmacy at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Christine Pavlak, says the shortage includes calcium, zinc, phosphorous, magnesium and selenium. The minerals are given through an IV to infants.

“The inventory is tight and getting new product is tight,” Pavlak says.

But despite the shortage Pavlak says they’ve been able to provide their patience with appropriate therapy.

“We look at how we’re using those products, we look at if we can use alternative products, and in some cases a patient may be able to take a vitamin by mouth,” Pavlak says.

She blames the ongoing shortage in part to the lack of a stable supply chain in the drug industry.

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