Anesthetic shortage impacting Reno podiatry office

Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 11:28 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - A national trend is reaching medical offices in the Biggest Little City.

In the last few months, Reno Foot and Ankle has been dealing with a shortage of local anesthetics.

“We’ve experienced some shortages in the past but nothing as significant as what we’re experiencing right now,” said Lacey Loveland, Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM).

The office sees about 30 to 40 patients a day and is getting close to its last bottles of Lidocaine. If they don’t get more soon, Dr. Loveland worries they won’t be able to do certain procedures.

“Like ingrown toenails or even excisions of potentially cancerous lesions, anesthetics for wound care,” she said.

Loveland told KOLO8 News Now that she has called multiple companies. One of them explained they’re on backorder until next month, whereas the others are more uncertain.

“One of them has nothing and doesn’t know when they’re going to get it in, one is thinking that maybe next year,” she said.

According to a local hospital pharmacy, right now Marcaine and Carbocaine are being used for surgery only, while Lidocaine is in low supply.

“The only alternative, really, would be to refer back to the emergency room or the hospital, and oftentimes those are the places that refer to us for our expertise,” said Loveland.

These medicines are often imported from countries like China. The shortage is due to delays in manufacturing and demand.

If you have a procedure coming up, check with your physician to make sure they have the anesthetic.

“I just want people to be aware that there is an issue and a problem and hopefully work together to try to find a resolution,” said Loveland.

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