A National Opioid Shortage is Plaguing Hospitals

Hospitals across the country are scrambling.

(AP) – The same painkiller behind the growing opioid addiction epidemic now has hospitals across the country scrambling.

That’s because a nationwide opioid shortage is forcing doctors to find alternatives which have led to harmful dosing mistakes.

Pharmacists and several health groups say doctors are struggling to find enough injectable narcotics like morphine and fentanyl.

Patients suffering from traumatic injuries, fighting cancer, or undergoing surgery desperately need those drugs.

So what’s behind the limited supply?

Issue such as lowered output due to manufacturing setbacks and government restrictions on production aimed at reducing misuse and addiction.

Now that same effort is causing nurses to improvise.

According to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices some are administering second-choice drugs or delivering pain medications differently which raises the risk of errors.

At some hospitals elective surgeries are being postponed and low opioid supplies are being directed to higher-priority cases.

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