Tristate hospitals edgy about have limited supplies


BY TIM BONFIELD
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Some Tristate hospitals are completely out of the clot-busting drug urokinase, while others say they still have limited supplies.

“We've been out of it for a week and a half,” said Tom Imhoff, pharmacy coordinator at Good Samaritan Hospital. “We've been trying to get people to restrict its use for about a month.”

Mercy Health Partners has some urokinase on hand, but has begun looking into whether other types of clot-busting drugs can safely be used as substitutes. St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Northern Kentucky reports adequate supplies.

University Hospital has a limited supply of urokinase, but represen tatives of the other hospitals in the Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati — Christ, Jewish, St. Luke and Fort Hamilton — could not be reached for comment.

The risk of running out of urokinase is that patients could need surgery to replace catheters should they develop a clotting problem, Mr. Imhoff said.

Exactly how many Tristate patients may be affected by the urokinanse shortage is unclear. Abbott Laboratory representatives contacted Monday said they could not provide any estimates of how much urokinase they ship to Greater Cincinnati.

Good Samaritan, among the largest of 31 acute-care hospitals in the Tristate, uses 40 to 50 vials of the drug a month, Mr. Imhoff said.



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