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Basic Emergency Department Meds in Short Supply
HealthLeaders Media

Like lots of emergency physicians, Carol A. Cunningham, MD, is used to occasional medical supply shortages and knows how to adapt. Finding workarounds and making modifications in the moment is simply a part of her job.

But her patience was sorely tried last winter when supplies of saline solution ran short.

Cunningham, who is state medical director for the Ohio Department of Public Safety’s division of emergency medical services and emergency physician at Akron General Medical Center, says, “It became really scary when we didn’t have saline. I felt like we were practicing medicine in a third-world country. There was just no way of giving fluid resuscitation or treating dehydration intravenously.”

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