A shortage of epidural catheters hits Quebec

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A pé number of epidural catheters hits Quebec

Of the province's three epidural catheter suppliers, production and shipping are expected to return to normal for one of them by the end of August.

A global shortage of epidural catheters is hitting many Canadian provinces, including Quebec. Despite the concern of many women who fear not being able to benefit from an epidural, “the situation should return to normal without making too difficult choices”, according to the president of the Association of anesthesiologists of Quebec (AAQ), Nikola Joly.

“There is a problem in the supply chain. We don't have as many epidural catheters in hospital inventory as usual. »

— Dr. Nikola Joly, President of the Association of Anesthesiologists of Quebec.

For the moment, Mr. Joly confirms that the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS) has surveyed the various health and social services establishments to determine the quantity of catheters available, the precise portrait of the stocks not being possible. however, not be trained.

However, he says that most establishments in Quebec have more than a month's worth of stock. Solutions would already be in motion to avoid the lack of catheters. The use of equipment already present in other countries such as the United States, but which is not yet approved in Canada, was mentioned in particular by the president of the AAQ.

The sharing of catheters between the different establishments is also envisaged.

“There is mutual aid and collaboration between the establishments. This is what we want, we do not want patients to start shopping to see which establishment offers epidurals and which establishment does not. »

— Dr. Nikola Joly, President of the Association of Anesthesiologists of Quebec.

In Quebec, Nikola Joly mentions that of the three suppliers of epidural catheters in the province, production and shipping should be back to normal for one of them by the end of August.

The CIUSSS de l'Estrie-CHUS emphasizes that the situation is not yet critical in the region. The recommendation is therefore to use epidural catheters judiciously both in surgery and in the maternity ward without however restricting the use of epidurals.

The establishment carried out a census of the equipment available in addition to redistributing the catheters according to the missions and the volume of activity.

According to the CIUSSS de l'Estrie-CHUS, the epidural or epidural is an analgesic technique frequently used during labor and delivery for pain management and high-risk births, with the use of a catheter being essential to the procedure.

Every year, approximately 60,000 women receive an epidural, according to the AAQ.

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