A shortage in U.S. supplies of pediatric intravenous (IV) multivitamins should be resolved by late fall or early winter, according to Edward Bernstein, M.P.H., director of policy and research for the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN).

The shortage grew from a sudden drop in the supply of adult IV multivitamins, which occurred late in 1996 when a manufacturer halted production of the substance. This in turn led to greater demand for, and eventually a shortage in, the supply of children's IV multivitamins, Bernstein said. Reports of a shortage surfaced in April.

The widespread shortage has been linked to serious vitamin deficiency problems in children and adults, and even to one death in a 50-year-old man on total parenteral nutrition.

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