Guam - First the Guam Memorial Hospital was out of Demerol, and now the island's only civilian hospital is out of epidurals. Local OB/GYN Dr. Thomas Shieh says one of his patients who was in labor required an epidural, but GMH didn't have the proper kits, medication and pumps.
He said, "The hospital needs to let us know whether they have enough equipment and proper medication to do certain procedures. If there are none, they nee to make that available for the doctors, because if we can't do our jobs, or anesthesiologists can't do their jobs if they don't have the right equipment and medication."
While spokesperson Connor Murphy initially said this morning that GMH has other alternative medications, Dr. Shieh responds, saying there aren't any and that the hospital is simply holding back on the truth.
But Murphy says the hospital is working to ensure patient needs are addressed, telling KUAM News, "Like the other shortages we have, we manage with the supplies we have available. We'll look at the patients unique situation and our anesthesiologist and the doctor will work to find the pain management tool for that patient. I'm not really qualified to discuss the various alternatives and the pros and cons with each one, but our anesthesiologist will look at the situation and decide at that point, with the supplies we have on hand."
As for the order of epidurals, Murphy says they're waiting for orders, which were placed in November and December - and that the delay isn't due to the lack of funding, rather it's attributed to the vendor's lack of supplies.