Saline solutions used during hospital admissions is running low. In an effort to keep up with demand, some suppliers are taking unprecedented shortcuts. The Food and Drug Administration is warning hospitals and healthcare providers that some suppliers are distributing “training solutions” instead. What is that you say? Training, or “practice”, solutions are non-sterile products intended for teaching purposes only in health professional schools and emergency worker training programs. One company recently issued a voluntary recall noting that actual patients were receiving the training solution in place of the required sterile saline. At least 40 patients have received the training solutions and some have experienced adverse side effects such as fever, chills, tremors and headaches. One patient’s death has been associated with one of these simulation products, but the agency has not yet determined if the product was the cause of death.
Last year, the U.S. experienced shortages of Sodium Chloride 0.9% Injection from not only Hospira, Baxter and B. Braun Medical. For patient safety, let’s hope that training solutions stay where they belong – – for training only.