Shortage of "Loss of Resistance" Syringes
The Royal College of Anaesthetists, Association of Anaesthetists, Obstetric Anaesthetists' Association and Regional Anaesthesia-UK have been informed of a disruption to supply of Smiths Medical Epidural and Combined Epidural/Spinal products containing the Portex®️ Loss of Resistance (LoR) syringe.
This is due to difficulty obtaining a dye required for the plastic of the loss of resistance syringe and has led to a temporary disruption in production and supply. The estimated recovery is the end of June or beginning of July 2022.
We have been informed that NHS Supply Chain (NHSSC) are now controlling supply of all epidural insertion kits. Hospitals will not be able to order directly from Smiths or from other distributors. Local procurement leads have been asked to continue to order their usual products from NHSSC; however, alternative brands and alternative kits (e.g. 18G rather than 16G) may be provided depending on supply/demand. Until this situation has stabilised, NHSSC will be providing approximately one week’s worth of stock to organisations on request. The NHS is undertaking a stocktake of current supplies in the system via local procurement teams.