Fiji seeks urgent shipment of anaesthetic

Fri, 30 Apr 2010 10:31p.m.

Fijian health officials say higher-than-expected rates of surgical intervention at birth over the past two months have run down its supplies of a widely-used anaesthetic.

Thiopentone is used by surgeons to anaesthetise patients who are about to undergo surgery.

But Fiji's Ministry of Health said there had been a surge in demand for the drug, partly because almost 10 percent of the 1600 births at Suva's main hospital required caesarean deliveries.

The ministry has been able to source only enough Thiopentone from local suppliers for a further two weeks use at the current rate of consumption, the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation reported.

The drug was out of stock in Australia and New Zealand, but an urgent shipment supplies is expected to arrive in Fiji next week.