Hurricane Maria leaves Strong Memorial Hospital in short supply of TPN

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC-TV) - Hospitals across the country, including Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, are in short supply of total parenteral nutrition (TPN), the formula used to feed patients through a tube.

TPN is produced in Puerto Rico, but supply has stopped since Hurricane Maria devastated the island.

The formula is composed of multiple components, including amino acids -- where the shortage is.

Curtis Haas, director of Pharmacy for the University of Rochester Medical Center, says TPN is critically important for neonatal ICU patients.

Haas said they use hundreds of TPN bags daily. He said these patients have a short time frame when they are born in which their nutritional needs must be met.

In order to fill the need, Strong Memorial Hospital has been working with multiple other suppliers to make alternatives.

“We are looking at what other products are available," Haas said. "Some of these are what we call premixed TPN products, which are very good options for patients who have basic needs or standardize needs."

However, TPNs are custom made for each patient so premixed solutions will only work for some patients. But this will reserve some amino acids for the patients with compromised needs.

Haas said they have also looked at changing the way some drugs are administered to reduce the dependency on the small bags.

Officials at Strong Memorial Hospital said there is currently no concrete time frame for getting their usual supply back from Puerto Rico, but they anticipate this issue will last for several months.


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