Patient care not impacted by global epidural shortage, local hospitals say

Local hospitals are offering assurance to expecting parents — there’s enough supply of epidural catheters.

Last month, the Waterloo Wellington network warned of an ongoing global shortage of catheters, mostly used to deliver pain relief to patients giving birth.

In a statement, hospitals including Cambridge Memorial and Grand River said,”Waterloo Wellington patients have not been impacted.”

The hospitals say there’s currently supply in stock and they continue to work together to monitor supply, conserve, and share resources.

Ontario Health is also keeping a close eye on provincial stock.

In the event supply does becomes an issue, Waterloo Wellington hospitals will put out messaging to let patients know how they will manage epidural catheters to make sure they’re available for high priority patients.

“Our commitment is to ensure all patients have access to pain management support should they want it during childbirth or while undergoing a lower extremity surgery,” the hospital network said. 

There may also be medical reasons unrelated the shortage patients do not receive an epidural when requested.

Those patients are asked to direct questions to doctors or care teams. 

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