"When you have someone with say, a kidney stone, you want to get them some pain relief and anti nausea medicine. And those are two of the drugs that are in short supply," Explains Metrocare Operations Director Neil White.
A national drug shortage is coming down hard on Abilene's EMS provider, Metrocare.
Around 16medications used to treat patients on a regular basis are out of stock, or back-ordered. There's no telling when, or if, they'll ever see them again.
"Some of the medications we've been told there's still a small supply left others we've been told this is the last shipment you're gonna receive. I expect within the next 60-90 days it's going to become quite the struggle," Said White.
The shortage is a widespread crisis that falls on the manufacturers.
Many of them have stopped making drugs for economic reasons. Others have shut down all together. The healthcare industry is now scrambling to prepare for what comes next.
"We've worked with the vendors to keep us in supply right now but at some point we know they're gonna run out," Said White.
Right now all of the trucks are stocked with the necessary drugs and there's one more shipment in the supply room. When that runs out-the real problem presents itself.
"The ones we think will last us about 6 to 9 months were not really worried about. It's the ones that we may go through in 20 to 30 days that were having to replace with alternative medications right now," White Said.
The clock is ticking to find alternative drugs with a supply that can meet the demand of a twenty four hour service like Metrocare. But running out of anything is not an option.
"We know that we need to treat those patients so we go to the next best thing," Said White.