Local News

Wake County EMS faces medication shortage

Posted June 22, 2018 6:12 p.m. EDT

Emergency officials across the country are experiencing medication shortages, including first responders in Wake County.

Wake County EMS Assistance Chief Jeffery Hammerstein said it is making the job much harder.

For years, EMS officials across the country say they've been battling shortages of common medications, which stems from drug suppliers that suddenly run out of stock without any warning.

"We may not necessarily know with great notice what's going to change and what isn't," he said. "It may be a matter of we're trying to order and the medicine is not available or there is not adequate supplies to order."

Although EMS officials train regularly to have alternative medication plans in place, they said the shortages have created challenges with protocol and logistics.

"We don't necessarily know where it all goes from here. That's part of the concern. We're able to adjust our application and adjust our approach to things and keep everything good and effective and safe, but we don't know where the drug shortages go from here," Hammerstein said.

With much uncertainty, EMS physicians said they and plan to continue to push for a change until they can shut the door on the medication shortage.