A global shortage of epidural catheters is hitting many Canadian provinces, including Quebec. Despite the concern of several 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. »
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 able however be trained.
He asserts, however, that
most establishments in Quebec have more than a month’s supply . 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, is mentioned in particular by the president of theQAA .
The sharing of catheters between the different establishments is also envisaged.
” There is mutual aid and collaboration between the establishments. That’s what we want, we don’t want patients to start shopping to see which establishment offers epidurals and which establishment doesn’t. »
In Quebec, Nikola Joly mentions that among the province’s three suppliers of epidural catheters, production and shipping should
return to normal for one of them by the end of August.
The CIUSSS de l’Estrie-CHUS stresses that the situation
is not yet critical In the region. The recommendation is therefore to
use epidural catheters judiciously both in surgery and in maternity without however restricting the use of epidurals.
The establishment conducted an inventory of the equipment available in addition to redistributing the catheters
depending on the missions and the volume of activity.
According to the CIUSSS de l’Estrie-CHUS,
epidural or epidural is an analgesic technique frequently used during labor and delivery for pain management and high-risk birthsthe use of a catheter being essential to the procedure.
Each year, approximately 60,000 women receive an epidural, according to the AAQ.