Emergency department drug shortages on the rise, report finds

June 05, 2018 - 3:30 am

KYW’s Medical Reports Sponsored By Independence Blue Cross. 

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- Most of us take it for granted that we can go to the emergency department and receive care at those critical times in life where we need rapid and efficient health care. But according to a new report from the American College of Emergency Physicians, there are two big problems that emergency room physicians are noticing. 

Ninety-one percent of emergency department physicians have reported experiencing a shortage or absence of critical medications. 41% of those polled say that there are shortages for as many as five drugs and 43% say there are shortages for as many as 10 drugs. 

What is most concerning is that almost 70% of those responding to the survey said these shortages have increased dramatically in the past year. 

Drug shortages are becoming a large problem in the United States and the fact that the shortages are impacting the emergency departments is particularly concerning because of the need for immediate care and use of these medicines.