News Headlines Article

When the hospital’s drug cabinet is bare
Washington Post

I worry about a lot of things that could go wrong if I’m taken to a hospital, but until today this hasn’t been one of them: Hospitals are routinely running short of critical antibiotics, often for months at a time.

When Larissa May, an associate professor of emergency medicine at George Washington University, and a team of researchers checked, they found that hospitals across the country ran short of 148 anti-bacterial drugs over a 13-year period, from 2001 to 2013.  The average time without a drug was nearly nine months (injectable drugs generally ran short for even longer periods than medications taken by mouth). Thirty-two of the medications ran short more than once, including one, Meropenem, which was short seven different times for a total of 1,114 days.