How hospitals are grappling with medical supply shortages caused by Hurricane Maria


"Everyone's trying to get it so of course, they're going to sell it at like 10 times or higher your normal cost", said McRae. "We need to remain agile and keep key personnel informed of what supply we have". However, that may not be a bad thing in the long run.

But some also told us shortages on medical supplies year round is a problem that needs attention. Also, in the first days following landfall, Crowley employees in Jacksonville filled containers with 50 tons of donated bottled water, canned foods and other relief goods that were promptly shipped to the island.

As of early November, Luciano said, efforts were beginning to shift from the relief mode to the fix phase, with a third phase, that of replenishment, anticipated to get into gear by yearend.

Evink said the biggest issue is awareness, making sure all hospital staff are fully informed of the situation and why it is so necessary to be prudent with the use of supplies. He said Puerto Rico's governor is requesting $94 billion, but the total package passed by the House of Representatives includes $81 billion, which is supposed to also include expenses for Florida, Texas and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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IV bags hold the medicines and fluids administered by IV and now nurses and doctors are being forced to find other ways to care for their patients, reports CBS News' Michelle Miller.

"We are very thankful for what [Scott] has done for Puerto Rico, he has sent police officers, emergency personnel, fire fighters", said Puerto Rican Rep. Eddie Charbonier of San Juan. But this year, the holiday has a special meaning on the mainland for families who have left the island after Hurricane Maria.

"Connecticut knows first-hand how important it is to get Puerto Rico recovered", said Democratic Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman.

The small bags deliver intravenous fluids and medications to patients.

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It wasn't easy for Marie Olivero to move to Lebanon with her three daughters after her home in Puerto Rico was destroyed by Hurricane Maria. Amino acids are critical for patients who are not able to eat and need to receive their nutrition intravenously.

"Speakers will offer an overview of Puerto Rico's history and complex relationship with the USA, explain the importance of this context for understanding the effects of the hurricane (and) the obstacles for rebuilding and discuss what you can do to act in solidarity with our fellow citizens", said Lynd.

To help meet some of the demand, the company had gotten special permission from the FDA for the importation of certain products from Baxter plants in Ireland, Australia, Canada, Mexico, England and Italy.

An Atlanta-area hospital run by Cancer Treatment Centers of America has had to rent special pumps to empty liter-size saline bags into many smaller ones for individual patients, said pharmacy services director Jamie Joy.

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