ECRI Institute Provides New Answers for Hospitals Coping with Critical IV-Fluid Minibag Shortage

New resource identifies alternative supplies for dire shortage of IV-fluid minibags

January 19, 2018

PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA—Hurricane Maria and its 100-plus-mph winds took no pity on Puerto Rico. In the aftermath of the hurricane, the island experienced extreme devastation, affecting production of life-saving medical products by manufacturers throughout the island.

IV-fluid minibags, mainly manufactured in Puerto Rico, are widely used 50-250 mL solution bags that infuse antibiotics and other medications intravenously. The minibag shortage impacts hospitals nationwide, hindering normal patient care, and pharmacy and nursing practices.

As part of its dedication to provide healthcare resources to the public, ECRI Institute announces the release of a special Health Devices guidance article featuring recommendations and alternative solutions for coping with the minibag shortage. The guidance article also features functional equivalency data for IV solution bags. This data employs the brainpower of ECRI Institute's CrossCHEQ service, which identifies acceptable alternatives for medical-surgical supplies and implants.

"ECRI Institute is providing trusted guidance to help hospitals across the country combat this critical shortage," says Juuso Leinonen, senior project engineer, Health Devices, ECRI Institute. "Furthermore, our CrossCHEQ list of alternative suppliers equips hospitals with the information they need to take quick action to keep patients safe."

The publicly available guidance article identifies alternative products from B. Braun Medical Inc., Baxter International, Fresenius Kabi, and Hospira Inc. Links to resources from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) are included in the report.

Learn more about ECRI Institute’s Health Devices technology evaluation program and CrossCHEQ, an unbiased resource that identifies functional equivalents for medical-surgical supplies and implants. For additional information, contact ECRI Institute by telephone at (610) 825-6000; by e-mail at; or by mail at 5200 Butler Pike, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462 USA.

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  • Helping #hospitals with critical #ivbagshortage from #HurricaneMaria. @ECRI_Institute providing alternative supply list and guidance

About ECRI Institute

ECRI Institute (, a nonprofit organization, dedicates itself to bringing the discipline of applied scientific research to healthcare to discover which medical procedures, devices, drugs, and processes enable improved patient care. As pioneers in this science for 50 years, ECRI Institute marries experience and independence with the objectivity of evidence-based research. Strict conflict-of-interest guidelines ensure objectivity. ECRI Institute is designated an Evidence-based Practice Center by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. ECRI Institute PSO is listed as a federally certified Patient Safety Organization by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

For press inquiries, contact:
Laurie Menyo, Director of Public Relations and Marketing Communications
(610) 825-6000, ext. 5310