Antonio Gonzalez-Sanchez provided NBC 6 with copies of his 81-year-old mother’s hospital records, which show Vitamin K was ordered. But according to the records, “there is no vitamin K available in the entire hospital, IV or subcu route due to the national shortage”
Maria Gonzalez died less than 24 hours after being admitted to Metropolitan Hospital of Miami in March. The cause listed on her death certificate: gastrointestinal bleeding.
“Since she was taking Coumadin which is to thin the blood, that caused her to of course bleed uncontrollably,” said her son Antonio Gonzalez-Sanchez.
Coumadin or the generic Warfarin are taken by millions of people in the U.S. to prevent blood clots, but the amounts that are taken have to be carefully monitored because severe bleeding can be a complication. The injectable or intravenous form of Vitamin K is used to promote blood clotting for patients with serious bleeding, and that’s what her son said she needed.
“The antidote, the very well-known antidote of Coumadin, is Vitamin K,” said Gonzalez-Sanchez who is a registered nurse.
Gonzalez-Sanchez provided NBC 6 with copies of his 81-year-old mother’s hospital records, which show Vitamin K was ordered. But according to the records, “there is no vitamin K available in the entire hospital, IV or subcu route due to the national shortage”
“It is mind boggling that something as simple as a vitamin wasn’t available in the whole hospital,” said Gonzalez-Sanchez.
An online bulletin from the American Society of Health System Pharmacists states the manufacturer, Hospira, has Vitamin K injection on shortage due to manufacturing delays, and the only other manufacturer Amphastar also has a shortage due to increased demand.
“I lost my mom, I lost her companionship, I lost her friendship but how many more people are going to lose someone that is close to them? We’re going to lose more people this way if we don’t speak out and do something about this shortage of not just Vitamin K, but many other medications more people are going to die,” said Gonzalez-Sanchez.
The chief compliance officer and risk manager at Metropolitan Hospital said he would not comment on this case or Vitamin K supplies.
NBC6 contacted another independent local hospital, Mount Sinai Medical Center on Miami Beach, which told NBC 6 they have certain protocols in place to deal with the nationwide Vitamin K shortage to ensure that patients continue to receive the proper care. They have reserved supplies for life-threatening bleeds.
Hospira issued a written statement updating the shortage.
“We are back in production and are making frequent deliveries of product. We expect to be fully recovered by May,” stated Hospira spokesman Dan Rosenburg.