There’s never a mint time to go into the hospital. However, thanks to the world being a total dumpster fire, it could be even worse than usual heading to one right now. According to The Age, hospitals in Victoria and NSW are struggling with epidural kit shortages. Moreover, they’ve reported that in Melbourne, Intensive Care Unit patients are getting sent home earlier than normal.
But why are these not great things happening? Whelp, here are some answers to that super important question:
There’s an Earth Wide Epidural Kit Shortage
As per the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, government health officials, in that neck of the woods, are claiming that global supply chain issues are to blame for the current epidural resource shortage. That’s right, this problem is as far-reaching as Canada. These global issues have meant that there reportedly aren’t enough epidural catheters and tubing.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) confirmed that supply issues were the reason behind Australia’s shortages and should be resolved by the end of July. However, the creators of these kits had previously assumed that this issue would end sometime in June. What’s more, the TGA told The Age that they’re unsure whether Australian suppliers of these kinds of products would also be impacted by resource shortages.
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said that something has to be done about this hospital-based issue. As the college president, Dr. Benjamin Bopp, stated, “Epidurals are an effective way of making childbirth more comfortable; it is critical governments ensure there are adequate, ongoing supplies of epidural kits across all jurisdictions.”
ICU Patients Are Going Home Too Fast
In some hospitals in Melbourne, there are a ton of sick people and a shortage of general ward beds. This is thanks to the ghastly work of the current COVID and flu season. Additionally, it’s forcing these hospitals to keep some ICU folks in this unit longer than needed. Instead of moving to the general wards, they are staying in the ICU until they’re discharged. This is not normal procedure.
Western Health ICU Director, Craig French, told The Age that this was happening in Footscray and Sunshine hospitals. Nevertheless, he also asserted, “I can reassure people that there is reliable access to intensive care.”
So, while this situation is far from ideal, the shortages could be a whole lot worse. Let’s just continue to mask up, social distance where we can, use hand sani, and make sure we are 100 percent boosted. Those are the best things we can do to keep healthy.