Lebanon's Hurricane Maria migration may be permanent, experts say

Puerto Rico's review of hurricane deaths raises new questions

Does anyone think for a second that had Hurricane Maria hit during the Obama administration that our good senators would be the least concerned about federal aid to Puerto Rico?

Statistics showcased Maria causing the largest blackout in USA history. And in Puerto Rico, it's a more important tradition than Santa Claus, and it's warm there.

St. Mary's is just one of the hospitals that has seen a shortage in IV bags. Photo by Kristopher Radder/Brattleboro ReformerIn a subsequent statement, Gottlieb also cited Baxter's disrupted production of amino acids for injection.

"I was flying in and I saw the devastation, all the roof tops, a lot of roof tops gone", Fountain said.

The FDA Commissioner recently sent out an update to the problem. But this year, the holiday has a special meaning on the mainland for families who have left the island after Hurricane Maria.

41 Action News reached out to a handful of area hospitals: University of Kansas Hospital, Truman Medical Centers, Overland Park Regional, Children's Mercy, and Shawnee Mission Health.

"The reality is we are really struggling", said Ross Thompson, executive director of pharmacy at Tufts Medical Center.

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They also want to repeal a provision in the Republicans' recent tax bill that added a 13 percent tax on items manufactured in Puerto Rico and boost Medicaid reimbursement rates to stabilize a healthcare system that's hemorrhaging doctors.

"That island has been completely decimated, and it's going to take them decades to restore", he said.

Hospitals have been substituting pills for IV-administered drugs when possible, changing dosing schedules or injecting drugs directly into a vein, what's called I.V. push. For instance, the hospital might place more lactated Ringer's solution, used for fluid and electrolyte replenishment, in the emergency department on weekends.

As a result of using this method, they have moved syringe production and loading of medications into pharmacy, another workflow disruption.

They all tell us the same thing - that the situation is better now than it was a few weeks ago and that they've learned ways to work around shortages so patient care isn't affected. "It would be great if it was that predictable but we take what we can get".

Patients likely won't notice any difference, Auger said.


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