Mother nature can be pretty nasty. Just this year alone, she induced four major destructive hurricanes—Harvey, Jose, Irma and Maria to be exact—that left thousands homeless, without food, water and power and deprived of vital medical needs.
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While the storms did their fare share of damage, it was hurricane Maria, in particular, that left a devastating mark on the medical community and actually led to a shortage nationwide of IV fluid supplies. After Maria slammed Puerto Rico and demolished the island, medical facilities housed there that manufacture IV fluid and supplies were affected. Without the ability to produce the fluids, which are needed for most surgeries that require anesthesia (cosmetic or not), hospitals and medical centers, prices have surged, which often gets passed down to the patient. A case of IV fluid, which normally goes for $100, is being sold for as much as $400.
With a scarcity of IV fluids, the FDA reports that the United States is experiencing a shortage of sodium chloride injection bags (technically, an IV bag) that may not lift until 2018.
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