Danish hospitals running out of anaesthesia - The Post

Danish hospitals running out of anaesthesia

Low supply of Ultiva means longer operation times and working hours for staff

In short supply (photo: iStock)
June 17th, 2016 9:04 am| by Christian W

Patients waiting for operations in hospitals in Denmark face further delays due to hospitals nearly running out of the doctors’ preferred anaesthesia.

The hospitals are low on the favoured anaesthesia brand Ultiva due to production issues at the GlaxoSmithKline factory in Italy. Alternative anaesthesias are being used, but the benefit of Ultiva is that patients wake up faster following operations and can be moved back to post-op rooms.

“It’s definitely problematic for the patients who we now need to observe during a longer waking-up phase,” Susanne Wammen, the head of the Danish Company for Anaesthesiology and Intensive Medicine, told TV2 News.

“We have perfected a number of surgical procedures where, using Ultiva, we can move them directly to their post-op rooms for waking up. We need to keep an extra eye on those patients now.”

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Staff impacted
It also means that the hospitals’ planned operation program becomes more drawn out and staff are forced to work longer hours.

Meanwhile, Ultiva producer GlaxoSmithKline has apologised for the situation and indicated that its factory in Parma is back up and running again following the problems that halted production.

But because a number of other European nations have also run low on the anaesthesia, the company cannot say for sure when the Ultiva pipeline will once again begin flowing to Denmark.