Babies across the country are doing everything they can to strengthening their little bodies in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU), but some aren’t able to get all the help they need. Some of those babies depend on an IV drip for nutrition, but sadly, an IV drip shortage is threatening their lives.
Meanwhile, vitamin IV drip treatments have become very popular among celebrities, who believe the treatment provides a re-energizing effect when they’re feeling especially tired or even hung over. Celebs like Rihanna, Madonna, and Cindy Crawford are reported to be fans, although we certainly hope that once they’re aware of the shortage affecting hospitals and newborns, they will stop.
According to ABC News, Rihanna tweeted a photo a few months ago of her “party-girl drip,” starting a major trend across Hollywood of celebs getting an extra boost of pre-photoshoot or post-rager vitamins, depending on their most recent engagements. CBS News reports that vitamin drips have also become more popular among the normal folk, prompting services such as Hangover Heaven, a mobile IV vitamin destination rolling through Las Vegas that promotes itself as the 60-minute hangover cure.
Sadly, due to the overwhelming demand, the drips are running in short supply for adults and babies who desperately need them. According to the Washingtonian, “The manufacturer of the most-used adult and pediatric IV multivitamin informed health systems that its product — which contains B and C vitamins, among others — is now in shortage. Medical professionals say that, as a result, intravenous B and C vitamins now may be in danger of also going into shortage. In the 1990s, a multivitamin shortage led to a widespread thiamin (vitamin B-1) deficiency that caused several deaths.”
The Washingtonian reports that some hospitals are even taking drastic measures in light of the shortage, such as rationing, hoarding, and bartering.
Dr. Kevin Fiscella, a professor of family medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York, tells Live Science that while vitamin drips can be beneficial for people with some conditions, “there's no scientific evidence that this has meaningful effects” in the long term for an otherwise healthy individual.”