Connecticut Senators Push For Puerto Rico Storm Relief

Kenny Tucker
January 12, 2018

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.

"When I got there, there was a lot of rubbish, a lot of limbs still on the trees", she said, "our road to the farm was blocked so they actually had to get out the machetes and they had to cut, chop, chop, the trees so they could get the cars out just so they could get provisions, water, fuel, sustenance, just to survive".

Local hospitals feel impact of IV bag.

McMillian said the storm "interrupted our normal supply chain" for saline and dextrose IV fluids, as well as for amino acids.

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

But reallocation goes only so far.

Blumenthal said it was "heartbreaking and gut-wrenching" to visit the island, describing how he and Murphy walked through Cano Martin Pena, a downtown San Juan neighborhood that was engulfed in darkness.

Only a few other companies make those solutions, and supplies never fully recovered after a 2014 shortage of saline bags. And Junta for Progressive Action met with almost 300 families, setting them up in local hotels and offering winter clothes and gift cards, said Alicia Caraballo, the executive director.

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Patients likely won't notice any difference, Auger said. And, "in terms of quality of care or safety, there are no safety risks with the strategies that we've employed here", he added.

"No one wants to come out and make it sound like their hospital isn't safe", but problems will worsen if shortages don't ease soon, Pasko said.

Vermont Department of Health spokesman Ben Truman said officials are aware of the supply shortage and that Commissioner Mark Levine "has received national briefings about it".

There are indications the situation is improving.

Despite what the people on the island have faced, Corbitt said he's hopefully for the people of Puerto Rico.

Governor Charlie Baker says he is also working to give districts additional state funding, if needed.

They say they continue to monitor the shortage closely.

"The fact that the plants are back on the grid is encouraging but we don't know their level of production or output", Thompson said.

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