Michael O’Neal is a pharmacist. He purchases drugs for Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He often deals with drug shortages, but this one is bad. O’Neal is concerned about the availability of electrolytes. They are critical to a babies in neonatal intensive care and seriously ill adults.

Electrolytes are administered to a critically ill patient for nutritional support intravenously. They are given to patients who cannot get their nutrition any other way.

O’Neal said he’s concerned that as supplies shrink, measures will have to be taken.

“We are dangerously close, we believe, when we will have to ration care to the critically ill. I would say within days or weeks,” said O’Neal.

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