[NBC-2 October 17, 2018]

According to the FDA, there are many reasons why drug shortages happen, including manufacturing delays and discontinuations.

Collier County agencies are still experiencing the shortage of drugs needed to help people in a crisis.

According to the North Collier Fire Control and Rescue District, this is the worst drug shortage they’ve seen in the last 18 months. Among other drugs, they have experienced shortages in epinephrine, saline and Narcan.

“You can’t just ignore something like this,” said Collier County resident Adam Sadaty. “This is life or death.”

Life or death, and frustration for first responders across the country.

“It’s not just a local thing. There has to be some sort of source to this issue,” said Sadaty.

The North Collier Fire Control and Rescue District Assistant Chief, Jorge Aguilera, is feeling the pressure of a manufacturing shortage.
“When we’re using those drugs, it’s a matter of life or death,” said Aguilera.

When every second counts, the extra seconds it takes to save a life can feel like an eternity.

“Pull out a vial, pull out a syringe, open your vial, draw it from a syringe, and then go to an IV bag an pull out the appropriate solution that you were going to use to mix it, and then administer it,” said Aguilera. “What would take us a minute was now taking us 5 minutes.”

When that doesn’t work, they’re forced to make due. He said at times they have mixed different medicines.

“Sometimes we have to find alternative medicines which are some of them are not as effective, and some of them are difficult to administer, and sometimes when we switch to those medicines they become short themselves,” said Aguilera.

The chief said that he does not see an end to this shortage anytime soon.