Norman Regional Hospital, like many other hospitals across the country, is hoarding or limiting the use of the drug sodium bicarbonate. The injection of baking soda solution is used for kidney and critical care and also by emergency room doctors.
According to the Norman Transcript, on average, Norman Regional uses 300 syringes of the drug per week, but are now having to monitor usage.
In a May 16 letter to customers, Pfizer, one of the biggest suppliers of the drug in the U.S. reported supplies were depleted and the next deliveries could come in late June or mid- to late August. While some hospitals are already postponing surgeries, hospital officials at Norman Regional say they are not to that point.
Pfizer says getting the raw material for the drug is not the problem. Instead, the hang up is with a third party supplier and, due to confidentiality agreements, they cannot disclose the issue.