Shortages of Medical Equipment in USA Following Hurricane Maria

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The Mini-Bag is a common product used by medical practitioners. For starters, this is a small bag that’s usually full of fluid that nurses use to dilute drugs especially antibiotics. The importance of this device is that it allows drugs to drip slowly to the veins of the patient. At the same time, the bag is very easy to use making it popular in the United States. One of the places where the device has helped save countless numbers of lives is the Clark County. This is because the chemists and pharmacies in this area remain closed at night and on weekends. In a hospital in Ohio known as Cleveland Clinic, the hospital uses over 34,000 bags every month. A pharmacy manager in Ohio known as Michele Evink says that the product is the most stable way they can give medications to their patients. At the same time, he says that it’s sterile and safe. However, it has emerged that hospital in the United States are in a rush to find an alternative for the product as it has become very scarce. Production of the lifesaving commodity was halted following Hurricane Maria that hit Puerto Rico hardest. The scarcity has been affected by the storm as the factory that produces most of the mini-bags is located in Puerto Rico. They are produced by a company known as Baxter.

While this is the first shortage to be related to the hurricane, industry experts have warned that more shortages should be expected. This is not the only commodity that has been hit by the hurricane. Reports have emerged that other products have been affected such as medical supplies, medical devices as well as vital drugs. This scarcity has resulted in some companies restricting the shipments of some of the items they produce such as tools used for orthopedic surgeries, surgical scalpels as well as the mesh that’s used for repairing hernias. These companies have been questioned by the Food and Drug Administration commissioner regarding the shortages. The commissioner known as Scott Gottlieb said that the institution understands that the hurricanes have affected the production. He urged the companies to work faster to ensure that things return to normal. His remarks were released during a hearing at the House Energy and Commerce Committee. He further confirmed that there was no company that was operating above the 70 percent threshold. In a recent interview, he expressed his worries that should things fail to improve, more shortages should be expected.

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