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Flu Season Causing Shortages At Houston Hospitals

The number of people dealing with the flu this season is causing shortages at local hospitals and Hurricane Maria is adding to the problem


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The flu is also taxing local hospital resources.

According to George Kovacik with Houston Methodist, the flu season is keeping them busy.

"We've seen an unprecedented number of patients with the flu recently. In fact the emergency department here at the hospital and at our three free-standing emergency care locations have experienced a large increase in the average daily volume in the past month," said Kovacik.

The flu is also taxing local hospital resources. Like available beds.

"Not all flu cases, but we're at full capacity. But we're continuing to do elective and emergency procedures unrelated to the flu, but the hospital is at full capacity," said Kovacik.

Hospitals are also running short on I-V fluids to give flu patients. Baxter, the nation's largest supplier of I-V fluids lost use of a facility in Puerto Rico, when Hurricane Maria knocked out power on the island.

While I-V bags aren't produced in Puerto Rico, they've been used as a substitute for the smaller medical bags that were made there. In an email, Baxter said that the facility is now back up and running, and they're distributing millions of bags of I-V solutions a month.