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Latest Physician News

Emergent Drug Shortage - Sodium Bicarbonate Injections

Like other jurisdictions in North America, AHS is dealing with a global shortage of sodium bicarbonate injection. Sodium bicarbonate is used in critical care and other urgent clinical areas. It is commonly used in life-threatening situations when the blood becomes too acidic. The shortage began in September 2016 in the United States and is now affecting Canada.

AHS is conserving the drug for use in critical situations, has mitigation strategies in place to ensure a supply for critical uses and has activated the Emergency Coordination Centre to support the situation.

Sodium bicarbonate stocks have been pulled from most clinical areas, with the exception of Critical Care, Emergency Departments, Operating Rooms and Code Carts. Orders will not be processed by site pharmacy services without direct discussion with the attending physician. See the information sheet for more information regarding conservation measures.

Public updates are also available on the

CIS Update

AHS seeks help to develop provincial CIS-ready clinical guidance: AHS is looking for experienced clinicians (physicians, nurses, allied health and clinical support staff) from each zone and discipline to work collaboratively in the development of provincial clinical guidance and practice standards to be enabled by the now funded AHS Provincial Clinical Information System solution. This initiativemoves AHS towards its goal of a single integrated health system empowered by best evidence tailored to the Alberta context. To learn more about this pivotal work, email at