Tennessee ambulances warn drug shortages are affecting their ability to treat patients – zoohousenews.com
- February 12, 2023
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(Natural News) As shortages of essential medicines persist across the country, Tennessee ambulances are struggling to get patients much-needed care in the most efficient manner.
Tennessee Ambulance Service Association President Rick Valentine has warned that diabetics are particularly at risk. Many of the calls they receive are for diabetics who are experiencing an episode of hypoglycemia. In many cases, these patients are unconscious, and paramedics traditionally treat them with a type of dextrose called D-50, which can wake them up in about a minute.
Valentine noted, “The brain is bathed in sugar, and when the sugar levels are depleted, it affects the brain and how it works. Getting your blood sugar levels back to normal is very important and unfortunately it takes longer if you don’t have the D-50 that you need.”
A serious shortage of this important drug has prompted first responders to turn to an alternative solution that is far less efficient for helping people experiencing insulin shock or low glucose levels. They are currently using IV bags that contain a lower concentration of dextrose, but it can take up to 20 minutes for patients to regain consciousness, which is considerably longer than the approximately one minute time it would normally take.
Many departments see their orders for D-50 not being filled, but emphasize that they will continue to do their best to save patient lives by any means possible. However, Valentine reports that it is now more stressful for the loved ones of those experiencing these episodes and having to wait so long for them to regain consciousness.
He explained, “You know, they’re like, ‘What’s taking so long?’ and we just have to explain that it’s a different concentration, it’s a lower dose of sugar and it takes longer for them to wake up.”
Pfizer, which makes the drug, sent out an official letter last August delaying manufacturing, but the shortage is currently expected to last through the end of the year.
No end to the nationwide drug shortage in sight
It’s not just D-50s that ambulances have to fight over. Valentine reports that ambulances also have narcotics shortages. However, there are more alternative drugs to this class of drugs, so the impact isn’t as strong — at least for now.
Diabetics across the country are also grappling with shortages of the type 2 diabetes drug Ozempic, which is used to balance blood sugar, A1C and glycemic levels. Some patients reach dangerously high blood sugar levels while coping, and some people go six weeks or more without being able to fill their prescription.
A major contributing factor to this deficiency is the current trend of using the drug for weight loss in people who do not have diabetes or related conditions. Experts warn people that there are serious risks and side effects associated with the drug, such as:
Kristin Glezman, a Texas pharmacist, noted, “Patients who don’t need it for type 2 diabetes should just think about these risks and know that there may be other ways to approach weight loss than using the drug.” .”
Meanwhile, there is a nationwide shortage of cold medicines, painkillers and fever reducers for children are rationed in many places. These bottlenecks are expected to continue this year.
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